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Head of Zeus
A Spectre, Haunting
A Spectre, Haunting: On the Communist Manifesto by China Miéville

China Miéville's brilliant reading of the modern world's most controversial and enduring political document: the Communist Manifesto.

In 1848 a strange political tract was published by two emigres from Germany. Marx and Engels's apocalyptic vision of an insatiable system that penetrates every corner of the world, reduces every relationship to that of profit, and bursts asunder the old forms of production and of politics, is still a picture of a recognisable world, our world, and the vampiric energy of the system is once again highly contentious.

The Manifesto is a text that shows no sign of fading into antiquarian obscurity. Its ideas animate in different ways the work of writers like Yanis Varoufakis, Adam Tooze, Naomi Klein and the journalist Owen Jones.

China Miéville is not a writer who has been hemmed in by conventional notions of expertise or genre, and this is a strikingly imaginative take on Marx and what his most haunting book has to say to us today.

This is a book haunted by ghosts, sorcery and creative destruction.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Modern History
12 May 2022 * 320pp * £8.99 * 9781786692023
'The Manifesto is one of history's most profound prophecies. In Miéville's brilliant interpretation it is like a great comet whose periodic return blinds the sky with its light and urgency. Read this and be dazzled by its contemporaneity'
Mike Davis
'A book about another book might sound boring, but The Communist Manifesto is more than a book: it represents a bulging galaxy of historical struggle, ever moving and shining, even if only on the periphery of our vision. Here, China Miéville opens up the pages of the Manifesto and transmits the energy of communism across the pallid present. Close reading, historical essay, political commentary and a manifesto of sorts: A Spectre, Haunting is a rich, luminous reflection of and on a light that never quite goes out'
Andreas Malm
'An excellent book, very lively and engaging, written in clear and readable prose... Much more than a contextual and analytical reading of the Manifesto... For today's readers Miéville does excellent work presenting and reviewing a huge amount of twentieth-century history'
Professor Terrell Carver
'It's thrilling to accompany Miéville, one of the greatest living world-builders, as he wrestles – in critical good faith and incandescent commitment – with a manifesto that still calls on us to build a new world'
Naomi Klein
'Very enjoyable and well done... Properly scholarly and thorough in its apparatus of discussion and issue-identification... Lively, politically driven appreciation'
Professor Gregor McLennan
'With diligence and a ruthlessly critical eye worthy of Marx himself, China Miéville expands upon the Communist Manifesto, calling us into renewed struggle for the best of what humanity could be. Against the million little cruelties and death-making of capitalism, this book builds a case for the value of the Manifesto to today's struggles without demanding fealty. It turns long-standing complaints about Marx on their heads to challenge the reader even while seducing with luminous prose. I didn't know I needed this book, but I did'
Sarah Jaffe
China Miéville
China Miéville
China Miéville has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award (three times), the British Fantasy Award (twice), and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (four times). His novels include Perdido Street Station, King Rat, Un Lun Dun, The City & The City, Railsea and The Last Days of New Paris. He has also written a narrative history of the Bolshevik Revolution, October.
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