From Martin Puchner's Introduction toThe Communist Manifesto and Other Writings Written within less than five years of each other,The Communist Manifesto(1848) andThe Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte(1852) are the bookends to the most revolutionary period of the nineteenth century. With the exception of Great Britain, most countries in western and central Europe experienced some kind of revolutionary upheaval around the year 1848. (Two generations earlier, the French Revolution had broken the old aristocratic order in France, but the effects of that revolution had been contained by the restoration of the monarchy in 1814.) Now, Europe's disenfranchised classesthe peasants, the bourgeoisie, and the proletariatonce more articulated their demands through strikes, mass demonstrations, and acts of resistance. This was the context in which Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels composed theManifest der Kommunistischen Partei(Manifesto of the Communist Party, mostly known asThe Communist Manifesto) in 1847. It was published in London in February 1848, only weeks before the outbreak of the first phase of the 1848 revolution in France, the so-called February Revolution. The primary purpose of theManifestowas to announce and publicize that the communists had given up on the conspiratorial activities of the past and were now entering the scene of politics through an open declaration of principle. The preamble states this goal unequivocally: "It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Specter of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself." Instead of being confined to secret societies and intrigues, communism had acquired a public face. Even though the publication of theManifestohad no material impact on France'sFebruary Revolution, its enthusiastic tone makes it clear that it was written in anticipation of a social revolution that it perceived to be imminent. The two authors knew that such a revolution would encounter opposition from those intent on preserving the status quo, but they had seen the proletariat grow stronger and more self-confident by the day and therefore hoped that once united, it would be capable of breaking its chains. The famous first sentence speaks of communism as a "specter" that is haunting Europe. But theManifestois certain that communism is about to cease being a mere specter and start becoming the real thing. If theManifestois overly confident with regard to the incipient revolution,Der Achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte(The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte) is the analysis of its failure. Following his earlier call for action, Marx issued a call for analysis. It was an analysis born out of disappointment. The text was commissioned by a German publisher in New York City asking Marx to explain what went wrong in France, why the revolution had, within the course of a few years, gradually lost ground only to be entirely undone by the coup d'etat of Louis Bonaparte, a figure who had hitherto attracted only ridicule. Marx did not content himself with poking fun at Louis Bonaparte, his hapless policies and inarticulate pronouncements. Rather, he sought to explain the root causes for the initial success and the eventual failure of the revolution. The result is a brilliant example of social analysis, bringing into relation the values and interests of different groups and classes, their policies, shifting alliances, mistakes, and lies. While theManifestoMarx, Karl is the author of 'Communist Manifesto and Other Writings ' with ISBN 9781593083755 and ISBN 1593083750.