Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein

Richard Weikart is the winner of the 1996 FHHS Dissertation Award.

This important new study is an intellectual history exploring the reception of Darwinism by prominent German socialist theorists: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engles, Friedrich Albert Lange, Ludwig BŸchner, August Bebel, Karl Katusky, and Eduard Bernstein. It relies not only on published books, articles, and speeches by these men, but also on some unpublished correspondence. In addition, one chapter covers the anti-socialist stance of prominent Darwinian biologists, including Charles Darwin and the foremost champion of Darwinism in Germany, Ernst Haeckel. Darwinism’s effect on German socialism’s view of eugenics, race and religion are also discussed.

Richard Weikart is an Associate Professor at California State University.