Highlights from The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels)

From our journey through random or quality (or random quality) books, here are some highlights from Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’s The Communist Manifesto (1848).

Emphasis as it appears in the original work may be missing, and our own edits, though marked, may be broad. Important: By sharing these highlights we neither endorse nor recommend respective authors and their views. Assume that we know little of the authors, and that we have nuanced views on the matter—as with all our book recommendations.

The Communist Manifesto

The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles. 

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. 

Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. 

The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. 

[Free trade:] In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. 

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe.

Continue reading…

A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)

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A Game of Thrones

“From a master of contemporary fantasy comes the first novel of a landmark series unlike any you’ve ever read before. With A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin has launched a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of this magnificent saga, the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. Continue reading…

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (Gustave Le Bon)

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The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (French: Psychologie des Foules; literally: Psychology of Crowds) is a book authored by Gustave Le Bon that was first published in 1895.

In the book, Le Bon claims that there are several characteristics of crowd psychology: ‘impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence of judgement of the critical spirit, the exaggeration of sentiments, and others…’ Le Bon claimed that ‘an individual immersed for some length of time in a crowd soon finds himself—either in consequence of magnetic influence given out by the crowd or from some other cause of which we are ignorant—in a special state, which much resembles the state of fascination in which the hypnotized individual finds himself in the hands of the hypnotizer.’”

Wikipedia. Continue reading…

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

“Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of ‘optimal experience’ have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.”

New Books Playground says: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience is one of our favorites, though we still wish to just get into the “zone” whenever we like. Continue reading…

Pygmalion (George Bernard Shaw)

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Pygmalion

Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological character. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1912. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women’s independence. Continue reading…

Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice (Lysander Spooner)

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Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice

“‘The science of mine and thine—the science of justice—is the science of all human rights; of all a man’s rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person.

It is the science of peace; and the only science of peace; since it is the science which alone can tell us on what conditions mankind can live in peace, or ought to live in peace, with each other. Continue reading…

Around the World in Eighty Days (Jules Verne)

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Around the World in Eighty Days

Around the World in Eighty Days is one of the greatest adventure novels of all time by one of the greatest of all adventure novel writers, Jules Verne. It is the story of the eccentric English inventor Phileas Fogg who sets out to make it around the world in eighty days in order to win a bet. With his trusted French valet, Passepartout, Fogg hurries off in a mad dash around the world, encountering numerous obstacles and adventures along the way. Continue reading…

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything (Stephen M.R. Covey)

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The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

“Stephen M.R. Covey shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients and, employees—is essential to a successful organization.

With nearly 750,000 copies in print, this instant classic shows that establishing trust is ‘the one thing that changes everything’ (Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of Now, Discover Your Strengths) in both business and life.

Trust, says Stephen M.R. Covey, is the very basis of the new global economy, and he shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees, and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high-performance, successful organization. Continue reading…

A Theory of Justice (John Rawls)

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A Theory of Justice

“Since it appeared in 1971, John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice has become a classic. The author has now revised the original edition to clear up a number of difficulties he and others have found in the original book.

Rawls aims to express an essential part of the common core of the democratic tradition—justice as fairness—and to provide an alternative to utilitarianism, which had dominated the Anglo-Saxon tradition of political thought since the nineteenth century. Rawls substitutes the ideal of the social contract as a more satisfactory account of the basic rights and liberties of citizens as free and equal persons. Continue reading…

The Art of Loving (Erich Fromm)

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The Art of Loving

“A classic in its own time… The original self-help treatise that has inspired countless numbers of men and women throughout the world. Learn how love can release hidden potential and become life’s most exhilarating experience. In this fresh and candid work, renowned psychoanalyst Erich Fromm guides you in developing your capacity for love in all its aspects: romantic love, love of parents for children, brotherly love, erotic love, self-love, and love of God. The Art of Loving has been continuously in publication since 1956 and has sold over 6 million copies. Continue reading…