In 1864 - two years before the publication of ""The Communist Manifesto"" and 21 years before the publication of ""Das Kapital"" - Karl Marx published an essay titled ""Peuchet on Suicide."" The essay was originally presented as a translation of excerpts from the memoirs of Jacques Peuchet (1758-1830), a leading French police administrator, economist and statistician. Plaut and Anderson reveal that Marx's ""Peuchet on Suicide"" is not a straightforward translation, but is an edited version in which Marx adds passages of his own, altering the emphasis of the text from a moral and psychological focus to a profoundly social one. Thus, the essay very strongly reflects Marx's own position on this controversial subject. Sociologist Kevin Anderson provides an extensive introduction situating the essay in the context of Marx's work, especially that on gender; Plaut's essay focuses on the psychological aspects of the work, in particular contrasting Marx's thoughts on suicide with those of Freud and Durkheim.
Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist movement. Eric A. Plaut is a professor emeritus of Northwestern University Medical School. Gabrielle Edgcomb was a poet and social critic. Kevin Anderson is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Northern Illinois University."