The Invention of Marxism is a rich group biography of the founding generation of European socialists who introduced millions to Karl Marx’s ideas. But it doesn’t identify this generation’s core theoretical and philosophical unities.

During the Industrial Revolution, the British working class lived in poverty and squalor. Their written testimonies capture those conditions — but also how they fought to find fulfillment despite their exploitation and bleak circumstance.

Bread and Freedom: Egypt’s Revolutionary Situation is a riveting account of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. But it ignores class and capitalism and fails to explain the reasons behind Egypt’s mass mobilization and why it was defeated.

The American public is rightly horrified by the traumas that US wars inflict on its soldiers. But the Vietnam War era connected that trauma to the broader brutality of war and its foreign victims — and to the healing power of antiwar activism.

Adam Theron-Lee Rensch’s memoir is a deep examination of the meaning of class in America’s postindustrial hinterlands that shows how it is distorted by useless and misleading culture talk. Foregrounding economic disparities and class politics is now a matter of survival for the Left.