Marx breaking street lamps for fun

Russell Grinker grinker at
Mon Dec 27 10:06:48 MST 1999

The same story is in the brilliant two volume biography, Eleanor Marx, by
Yvonne Kapp (Lawrence & Wishart).  Wheen's book seems to have more than a
sneaking resemblance to the Kapp book.


-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Delaney <tjd at>
To: marxism at <marxism at>
Date: Monday, December 27, 1999 5:22 PM
Subject: Re: Marx breaking street lamps for fun

>On 12/26/99, michael perelman wrote:
>>I have not read that bio., but I recall that he threw the rocks once
>>when Bauer visited him.
>>Charles Brown wrote:
>>  > >From another list, on Marx,  and the threads on celebrating
>>x-mas and anarchist destruction of property.
>>  >
>>  > :)>
>>  >
>>  > CB
>>  >
>>  > &&&&&&&&&&
>>  >
>>  >  Has anyone read the new Wheen bio of Marx. Apparently
>>  > Marx used to get up to hijinks by throwing stones at street lamps and
>>  > then split when the bobbies arrived. There's nothing wrong with
>>  > having fun as long as its at the bosses' expense. Its when we are
>>  > paying for it that makes it no fun at all.
>I recall this account from Robert Payne's biography of Marx, which
>has been out of print for quite some time.  I seem to recall that the
>tale involved Bakunin and drunkenness too.  Anyway, Payne plays up
>the story as evidence of Marx's delinquent character -- the great
>revolutionary theorist is at bottom nothing more than a common
>hooligan, etc., etc.  He used the same tactic in his biography of
>Lenin.  Lenin's sister recalled a childhood episode where the young
>Vladimir twisted the legs off a toy horse.  Payne found this to be
>prime evidence that Lenin was no good from the get-go and if he'd
>been sent to reform school the Russian Revolution might have been
>What a shame that Payne's powerful scholarship is no longer available...
>Tim Delaney

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