Freidrich Engels

Freidrich Engels (1820-1895), German sociologist, economist and co-author of The Communist Manifesto (1848) with Karl Marx.

Son of a cotton manufacturer, Freidrich Engels spent most of his adult life as an agent for the family firm in Manchester, England and used the profits to subsidise the activities of Marx, with whom he had collaborated since 1844.

He was a prolific writer: The Condition of the Working Class in England (1844) (1845), an analysis of the social impact of industrialisation, is now regarded as a pioneering study in urban geography and sociology, while The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884) put sexual and production relationships into a historical perspective.

After Karl Marx’s death in 1883, Freidrich Engels devoted the remainder of his life to editing and translating his works.

A formidable intellect and generous personality, Engels as much as Marx was the father of ‘scientific socialism’.