If you’re a young scholar and you want to understand debates in social theory, sociology, literature, political philosophy, history and the history of ideas, one of the most important and time effective things you do is read the communist manifesto if you haven’t already. It’s also one of the easiest things you can do.
It will take you approximately four hours to read the communist manifesto. Doing so will introduce you to what are, (at least in my opinion), all the most important parts of Marx, the single most influential political thinker of the 19th, 20th and, thus far, 21st centuries. It is an easy read and also fun, engaging and well written. I first read it when I was 23 and immediately regretted not reading it earlier.
Read this. Skip the preface but read the preamble: