The purpose of this book is to explore the thought of the ""young Marx""--i.e., of Karl Marx as expressed in his writings prior to the issuance of the Communist Manifesto in 1848. The author relies heavily, and Justly, on the Marxian texts themselves, but gives sufficient, and sufficiently clear, explanations of those texts to enable even the uninitiated reader to see emerge a Marx radically different from the bogeyman created by the ""Communist menace"" of later Marxism-Leninism; it is a Marx wholly sympathetic to and concerned with the problems of his age, an idealistic and almost optimistic Marx devoid of rigidity and dogmatism. The main divisions of the book are devoted to various aspects of Marxism: Marxism as atheism, as philosophy, as a theory of history, as a social, economic and political system, as humanism. There is some attention given to the roots in the young Marx of the tension between Marxism and Christianity, and a final chapter discusses the significance of the current Marxist-Christian dialogue. The book is too elementary and unoriginal to tempt the scholar, but it will be of interest particularly to Catholic students at the university level and to intelligent laymen both for its clarity and its objectivity.