To commemorate 200 years since Engels' birth, we are proud to republish his classic text, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Described by Lenin as “one of the fundamental works of modern socialism”, this book is a must-read for all socialists.
First published in 1884, The Origin of the Family is a classic of Marxism. Basing himself on the research of anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan, Friedrich Engels builds on his revolutionary discovery that the family structure has passed through multiple stages throughout history. He shows that the ultimately determining factor in these changes is the economic mode of production.
Using the method of historical materialism, Engels also demonstrates that the oppression of women has not always existed, and is not the product of inherent traits. Rather, it emerged historically with the production of a surplus and the division of society into classes. He also shows that the state, far from being a neutral arbiter in society, arose with the emergence of class society. It is ultimately "armed bodies of men" in defence of the ruling class.
This new edition includes an introduction by Rob Sewell, placing the text in its historical context and defending the fundamental ideas and method of Marxism, which has stood the test of time.