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The Origin Of The Family, Private Property And The State,
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'The modern individual family is founded upon the open or concealed domestic slavery of the wife' The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884), was a provocative and profoundly influential critique of the Victorian nuclear family. Tracing the evolution of family units from prehistory to the present, Engels argued that the traditional monogamous household was in fact a recent construct, closely bound up with capitalist, property-owning societies. Under this patriarchal system, women were servants and, effectively, prostitutes. Only Communism, Engels argued, would herald the dawn of communal living and a new sexual freedom and, in turn, the role of the state would become superfluous. Though it has since been criticized for its anthropological arguments, Engels's work influenced millions, both as an inspiration for feminists and as a justification for policies in countries such as China. It still resonates today as a fearless assault on sexual inequality. Tristram Hunt's introduction to this edition discusses the inspiration for The Origin, places it in the context of Marxist historical materialism, explores the tensions between Engels's writing and his life, and analyses critical responses to the text. This edition also contains notes and a glossary. With a new introduction by Tristram Hunt
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About the Author

Friedrich Engels was born in 1820. In 1842 Engels went to Manchester to represent the family firm. Relationships there inspired the famous The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. Collaboration with Marx began in 1844 and in 1847 he composed the first drafts of the Manifesto. After Marx's death, he prepared the unfinished volumes of Capital for publication. He died in 1895. Dr Tristram Hunt is one of Britain's best known young historians. Educated at Cambridge and Chicago Universities, he is lecturer in British history at Queen Mary, University of London and author of several books. A leading historical broadcaster, he has authored numerous series for the BBC and Channel 4. A regular contributor to The Times, The Guardian and The Observer, he is a Trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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