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Of the total heritage which gave birth to modern socialism, brief attention may be given to certain of the predecessors of Karl Marx. Although some now are saved from obscurity only by the diligence of interested historians, others generated powerful ideas still not extinguished today. Together they created an amorphous body of thought from which Marx freelv drew. Consequently, an understanding of the varieties of later socialism, and specifically of Marx, requires a brief survey of these men. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section XVI: Developments in Socialism, (1848-1914). The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.