Many, many years ago, a group of German scholars in East Germany [before reunification] undertook to produce a complete scholarly edition of the works of Marx and Engels, adorned with the full panoply of traditional Germanic scholarship. Because this edition was, at least officially, intended for the Communist masses, the volumes were quite cheap. For years I had a standing order at Blackwell’s Bookstore in Oxford for each new volume as it appeared. The beautiful volumes, bound in blue, cost three or four dollars each, and the entire set sits on the shelves of my Paris apartment. International Publishers then brought out, volume by volume, an English language edition, which sits on the shelves of my apartment in North Carolina.
One of the delights of these volumes is the identifications of individuals mentioned or included [in the case of letters] in the text. Here is what I found this afternoon in the Name Index for Lincoln:
Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) American Statesman, a leader of the Republican Party; President of the United States (1861-85); under the influence of the masses carried out important bourgeois-democratic reforms during the Civil War, thus making possible revolutionary methods of warfare; was shot by a slave-owner’s agent in April 1865.
Ah, the good old days!