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Karl Marx

Karl Marx

German economist, philosopher, and revolutionist, Karl Marx’s writings form the basis of the body of ideas known as Marxism. As one of the most original and influential thinkers of modern times, Karl Marx produced, with the aid of Friedrich Engels, much of the theory of modern socialism and communism. Born on May 5, 1818, Marx lived in a period of unrestrained capitalism when exploitation and misery were the lot of the industrial working classes, and it was his and Engels’ humanitarianism and concern for social justice that inspired his work....

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Vietnam revolutionary nationalist party of Indo-China, which struggled for independence from France during and after the second world war, was born Nguyen Sinh Cung on May 19, 1890 in a village in central Vietnam. The French through a puppet emperor indirectly ruled the area during that time. Inheriting his father’s rebellious bent, Ho participated in a series of tax revolts, acquiring a reputation as a troublemaker. In 1911 he left Vietnam to work abroad....

Fidel Castro Ruz

Fidel Castro Ruz

Fidel Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926 (some sources give 1927), on his family’s sugar plantation near Biran, Oriente, Province. His father was an immigrant from Galcia, Spain. He attended good Cathotic schools in Santiago de Cuba and Havana, where he took the spartan regime at a Jesuit boarding school, Colegio de Belen. In 1945 he enrolled at the University of Havana, graduating in 1950 with a law degree. In 1948, he married Mirta Diaz-Balart and divorced her in 1954....

Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa

Born to a family of peasant farmers on Sept 23, 1943 in Popowo in Poland, Lech Walesa started of as an electrician at shipyard in Gdansk. A devout Roman Catholic, he was shocked by the repression of workers’ protests and made inroads with small opposition groups. Despite being sacked from his job, he climbed over the perimeter wall of the Lenin shipyard at the age of 37 to join the occupation strike. With his electrifying personality, quick wit and gift of the gab, he was soon leading it....

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was chairman of the Communist Party of China and the principal founder of the People’s Republic of China. Along with Karl Marx and V. I. Lenin, he is regarded as one of the three great theorists of Marxian communism. Mao’s greatest achievements were the unification of China through the destruction of Nationalist power, the creation of a unified People’s Republic, and the leadership of the greatest social revolution in human history. This revolution involved collectivisation of most land and property, the destruction of the landlord class, the weakening of the urban bourgeoisie, and the elevation of the status of peasants and industrial workers....

Vladimir Ilich Lenin

Vladimir Ilich Lenin, founder of the Russian Communist party, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and first head of state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was also a masterly political thinker whose theories shaped Communist thought and influenced all factions of the Marxist movement. Lenin was born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov on April 22, 1870, in the provincial city of Simbirsk on the Volga River. By all accounts, Lenin’s middle-class family was warm and loving....

Mikhail  Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev

He was born in Privol’noye, Russia. In 1985 Gorbachev became general secretary of the Communist Party, and in 1988 he became president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Between 1985 and 1990, Gorbachev sought to reform Soviet society by introducing perestroika (restructuring) of the economy and glasnost’ (openness) in political and cultural affairs. He transferred power from the Communist Party to popularly elected legislatures in the union republics. Gorbachev also withdrew Soviet troops from Afghanistan, normalized relations with China, signed a series of arms control agreements with the United States, and cooperated with the U....

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