May Day Payday

A century and a half ago, the original didactic duo, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published The Communist Manifesto, which famously urged, "Workers of the world, unite!" While openly Marxist governments have been suffering through a bear market since the late 1980s, Marx himself is running with the bulls: The New Yorker recently anointed him not merely the most influential political philosopher of the past century but the "next most influential thinker" for the new millennium.

And on May 1--"May Day," the traditional labor holiday--Verso, the left-wing publishing house, will roll out a new, "upscale, sybarites' edition" of the Manifesto, featuring an introduction by historian Eric Hobsbawm. The first print run will be 20,000. And if this edition of the Manifesto ends up in the remainder bin of history, it won't be for lack of marketing: Publisher's Weekly has reported that both Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores are planning to showcase the book in "special promotions near the cash register."

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