(In English)

Karl Marx versus Max Stirner

Stirner, Max, The Ego and His Own: The Case of the Individual Against Authority [1845]. Translated from the German by Steven T. Byington, edited with Annotations and an Introduction, by James J. Martin, Libertarian Book Club, New York, 1963, 366 pages. (Note: For those who are just acquiring this book, it might be best to go with the Cambridge University Press edition of 1995, The Ego and Its Own, edited and introduced by David Leopold, 428 pages, based on a revised version of the Byington translation, with additional annotations, a biographical sketch, and suggested readings.)

Marx, Karl, "Saint Max," Chapter III, pages 122-497, in The German Ideology (with Frederick Engels). Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1964, 736 pages. (Note: Several editions in English with the title of The German Ideology were actually only the first chapter of the book, on Feuerbach. The Progress Publishers edition was the first English translation of the entire book.)

Marx’s book-length text is a running commentary on Stirner’s text, and follows the same outline, more or less. A good procedure is to read the two books in tandem. Read a section in Stirner, and then read Marx’s commentary on that section. This is not easy, or even pleasant, reading. Both texts are tedious in the extreme. But if you can get past Stirner’s aphoristic style, and Marx’s sarcasm and harshness, much can be learned.

Other Texts by Stirner in English

"Art and Religion," [1842, from the Rheinische Zeitung]. English translation by Lawrence S. Stepelevich, in his anthology, The Young Hegelians, pp. 327-334 (Cambridge University Press, 1983). Also available on the web at:


"The False Principle of Our Education: or, Humanism and Realism," available on the web at:


"Stirner’s Critics," Philosophical Forum, Volume 8, number 2-3-4, 1976. On the Internet at:


Other Critiques of Stirner by His Contemporaries (other than Marx)

Feuerbach, Ludwig, "The Essence of Christianity" in Relation to "The Ego and Its Own", in the Philosophical Forum, Vol. 8, no. 2-3-4, 1976. On the Internet at:


Hess, Moses, "The Recent Philosophers," in Lawrence Stepelevich, editor, The Young Hegelians: An Anthology, Cambridge U.P., 1983, 416 pages, pp. 359-375.

Other Critiques of Stirner by Marxists

Hook, Sidney, "Max Stirner and Karl Marx," Chapter V, pp. 165-185, in Hook’s book, From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Development of Karl Marx [1950]. Ann Arbor Paperback, 1962, 335 pages.

Thomas, Paul, "Marx and Stirner," Chapter 3, pp. 125-174, in his Karl Marx and the Anarchists, Routledge, 1980, 406 pages.

Dietzgen, Eugene, "An Illustration of the Proletarian Method of Research and Conception of the World: Max Stirner and Joseph Dietzgen," pp. 35-78, in Joseph Dietzgen, Philosophical Essays, 1905, Charles Kerr & Co. Also available on the web at:


Commentaries on Stirner by Anarchists

Clark, John P., Max Stirner’s Egoism. Freedom Press, 1976, 111 pages. This is an excellent introduction to and evaluation of Max Stirner, by a social anarchist. It is one of the best things to read after the originals themselves.

Woodcock, George, "The Egoist," Chapter 4, pp. 94-105, in his Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements, Meridian Books, 1962, 504 pages.

"Stirner, the Individual, and Anarchism," Black and Red Revolution, No. 6, 2002. Available on the web at:

www.struggle.ws (five pages).

Read, Herbert, "The Centenary of The Ego and His Own," in The Tenth Muse, 1957. Reprinted in his A One-Man Manifesto and Other Writings, Freedom Press,1994, pp. 106-111.

Baginski, Max, "Stirner: The Ego and His Own," in Mother Earth, Vol. II. No. 3, May 1907, pp. 142-151. Also available on the web at:


Eltzbacher, Paul, "Max Stirner," Chapter V, pp. 61-76, in his Anarchism: Exponents of the Anarchist Philosophy. Freedom Press, 1960, 272 pages.

"What are the Ideas of Max Stirner?", Section G.6 in the Anarchist FAQ. On the Internet at:


Lawrence S. Stepelevich’s Essays on Stirner and the Left Hegelians

"Hegel and Stirner: Thesis and Antithesis" (13 letter-size pages)

"Max Stirner and Ludwig Feuerbach" (12 letter-size pages)

"The First Hegelians: An Introduction" (15 letter-size pages)

"The Revival of Max Stirner" (6 letter-size pages)

All the above are available on the web in the Egoist Archive at:


Stepelevich also edited an outstanding anthology, The Young Hegelians, Cambridge University Press, 1983, 416 pages, with selections from David Friedrich Strauss, August von Cieszkowski, Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer, Arnold Ruge, Edgar Bauer, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Max Stirner, Moses Hess, and Karl Schmidt. The book has a useful introduction by Stepelevich, and a "Bibliography of General Studies: 1930 to the Present".

Other Book-Length Studies

Paterson, R.W.K., The Nihilistic Egoist: Max Stirner. Oxford University Press, 1971.

McLellan, David, The Young Hegelians and Karl Marx. Praeger, 1969.

Brazill, William J., The Young Hegelians. Yale University Press, 1970.

Miscellaneous References

Dumain, Ralph, "The Young Hegelians: Selected Bibliography." On the web at:


Leopold, David, "Max Stirner," in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, on the web at:


Koch, Andrew M., "Max Stirner: The Last Hegelian or the First Poststructuralist?," in Anarchist Studies, No. 5, 1997, pp. 95-107.

Carlson, Andrew, "Max Stirner (1806-1856)," Chapter II, in his Anarchism in Germany: The Early Movement. On the web at:


Lobkowicz, Nicholas, "Karl Marx and Max Stirner," in Frederick J. Adelmann, editor, Demythologizing Marxism: A Series of Studies on Marxism, 1969. On the web at:


More references and links can be found at the Max Stirner page of the Egoist Archive, at: