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In the two decades following the fall of the Berlin Wall, capitalism entrenched itself globally in its modern, neoliberal form. Its ascendance was so triumphant that the word capitalism itself ceased to be used; it became a given. But with the outbreak of financial crisis and global recession, capitalism is heard and read everywhere again. The status quo is no longer something to be taken for granted. In such a time, The Communist Manifesto, written over a century and a half ago, emerges as a work of great prescience and power, as Eric Hobsbawm argues in his acute and elegant introduction to this modern edition. He highlights Marx and Engels's enduring insights into the capitalist system: its devastating impact on all aspects of human existence; its susceptibility to enormous convulsions and crises; and its fundamental weakness.