Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte: ‘hero' or ‘grotesque mediocrity'?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Marx's account of the rise of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is one of his most important texts. Written after the defeat of the 1848 revolution in France and Bonaparte's subsequent coup, it is a concrete analysis that raises enduring theoretical questions about the state, class conflict and ideology. Unlike his earlier analyses, Marx develops a nuanced argument concerning the independence of the state from class interests, the different types of classes, and determining the power of ideas and imagery in politics. In the 'Eighteenth Brumaire', he applies his 'materialist conception of history' to an actual historical event with extraordinary subtlety and an impressive, powerful command of language. This volume contains a translation of the 'Eighteenth Brumaire' by Terrell Carver, together with a series of specially commissioned essays on the importance of the Brumaire in Marx's canon. Contributors discuss its continuing significance and interest, the historical background and its current relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarx's Eighteenth Brumaire: (post) modern interpretations (London: Pluto Press
PublisherPluto Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)0-7453-1830-4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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