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The focus of this modern edition is not primarily the vivid history of Marx and Engels' most important work. Rather, with a characteristically acute introduction by historian Eric Hobsbawm, it asserts the pertinence of the Manifesto today. Hobsbawm writes that 'the world described by Marx and Engels in 1848 in passages of dark, laconic eloquence, is recognizably the world we live in 150 years later'. He identifies the insights which underpin the Manifesto's startling contemporary relevance: the recognition of capitalism as a world system capable of marshalling production on a global scale; its devastating impact on all aspects of human existence, work, the family and the distribution of wealth; and the understanding that, far from being a stable, immutable system, it is, on the contrary, susceptible to enormous convulsions and crisis, and contains the seeds of its own destruction.