--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
Using the authorized English translation, edited and annotated by Engels, this edition features an extensive and provocative introduction by historian Martin Malia.
The Communist Manifesto was written as a political pamphlet, and thus is written like a piece of propaganda. Marx does not discuss in great deal some significant points in his theory. He doesn't discuss the dialectic in great detail, nor does he discuss his view on human nature a great deal. Most people are unaware of Marx's view on human nature, and this has led to him being labeled an "idealist," and communism labeled "utopian."
This book gets 4 stars from me for two reasons. Based on historical importance alone, this book should receive 5 stars. Given its amazing significance, it seems ridiculous to me that someone could give this book one or no stars. I may not be a Christian, but I'd give the Bible 5 stars just because of its tremendous historical importance. That being said, I only give the Manifesto 4 stars because, as a representation of Marx's ideas, it is incomplete, and I think in many ways, it contributes to the general lack of understanding of Marx that is so common today. People think they understand the philosophy of communism after reading just the Manifesto, and that false sense of knowledge only makes them seem that much more ignorant.
One of the most enduring myths about Communism is that it "doesn't work" because of some inherent failure in "human nature", most often greed. The endurance of this myth is living proof that "a lie told often enough becomes accepted truth".
In reality, Communism does NOT rely on people sharing their possessions out of the kindness of their hearts. It relies on people sharing their possessions because they know that they will all benefit from it. Communism does not go against "human nature" (if such a thing even exists - we certainly haven't found any greed gene in our DNA) and it does not try to fight against greed. Greedy people will know that they have more to gain by respecting the system of communal ownership than by tearing it apart. They are better off in communism than capitalism (just like the vast majority of all people).
For my Russian friend, I strongly recommend Leon Trotsky's "The Revolution Betrayed". Many Russians never had a chance to read what Stalin's opponents within the Communist movement had to say about his repressive police state. I am from Eastern Europe myself, and I know very well that what we had before 1989 was far removed from Communism and Socialism. The Soviet Union was never communist, and it never even claimed to be - it claimed to be in the process of building communism. Unfortunately for them, you cannot build communism without democracy. Both Communism and Socialism are inherently democratic systems. The Soviet Union claimed to be socialist, but socialism means economic democracy (public control over the means of production). Did the people control the means of production in the USSR? Did the people control anything in the USSR? I think not.
The USSR was as "communist" as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is "democratic". Stalin called himself a communist and a champion of democracy. He was neither.
For Christians, I recommend a more thourough read of the Bible:
"And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need."
- Acts 2:44-45
Jesus Christ was, in many ways, the world's first communist.