Marx's first political pamphlet

[Marx, Karl] / Ruge, Arnold (ed.). Anekdota zur neuesten deutschen Philosophie und Publicistik von Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Köppen, Karl Nauwerk, Arnold Ruge und einigen Ungenannten.

Zürich & Winterthur, Verlag des Literarischen Comptoirs, 1843.

8vo. 2 vols. in one. IV, 320 pp. IV, 288 pp. Modern half calf.


First edition, comprising both volumes. Contains Marx's first political pamphlet, the anonymous "Bemerkungen über die neueste preußische Censurinstruction. Von einem Rheinländer" (in vol. I, p. 56-88). Another anonymous essay, "Luther als Schiedsrichter zwischen Strauß und Feuerbach" (II, 206-208), has also been attributed to Marx, though Feuerbach may also have been the author of this brief piece.

Marx had sent Ruge his manuscript of the "Bemerkungen" from Trier on 10 February 1842 as a submission to the "Deutsche Jahrbücher", asking him for the time being not to reveal the author's identity to anyone save the publisher. Indeed, the essay was not published there, but in Ruge's present collection of "Anekdota", printed in Switzerland and comprising such contributions as either had been not admitted by the Saxon censorship or which he had not even bothered to submit.

Published in January 1843, the "Anekdota" appeared at the very moment when the liberal, democratic-leaning German press was particularly vigorously suppressed. The book struck a sensational blow against the pettily bureaucratic, reactionary censorship in the German countries by unmasking specifically the Prussian and Saxon censors' bias against all progressive scholarship and writing (cf. I. Taubert/W. Schuffenhauer, Marx oder Feuerbach?, in: Beiträge zur Marx-Engels-Forschung [1975], p. 37).

Contemporary Viennese ownership stamp to title page. Occasional slight foxing, but a very good copy altogether.

Rubel 27 & 28. Stammhammer II, 10. Friedlaender 35. MEGA I.1, 151-175.

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