The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression

Front Cover
Stéphane Courtois, Mark Kramer
Harvard University Press, 1999 - History - 858 pages
24 Reviews

Already famous throughout Europe, this international bestseller plumbs recently opened archives in the former Soviet bloc to reveal the actual, practical accomplishments of Communism around the world: terror, torture, famine, mass deportations, and massacres. Astonishing in the sheer detail it amasses, the book is the first comprehensive attempt to catalogue and analyze the crimes of Communism over seventy years.

"Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit," Ignazio Silone wrote, and this is the standard the authors apply to the Communist experienceâe"in the China of "the Great Helmsman," Kim Il Sung's Korea, Vietnam under "Uncle Ho" and Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah. The authors, all distinguished scholars based in Europe, document Communist crimes against humanity, but also crimes against national and universal culture, from Stalin's destruction of hundreds of churches in Moscow to Ceausescu's leveling of the historic heart of Bucharest to the widescale devastation visited on Chinese culture by Mao's Red Guards.

As the death toll mountsâe"as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and onâe"the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the millenarian ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression. An extraordinary accounting, this book amply documents the unparalleled position and significance of Communism in the hierarchy of violence that is the history of the twentieth century.

  

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Review: The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression

User Review  - sologdin - Goodreads

Multiple authors are inconsistent on central points. Not exactly the most credible exercise when text was originally produced by think tank in attempt to influence partisan politics in France. Focus ... Read full review

Review: The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression

User Review  - Alexandra - Goodreads

AMAZING AND HEART-WRENCHING! This book is the bible of the anti-communist movement. It documents a history of repressions, both political and civilian, by Communist states, including genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, and artificial famines. Read full review

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Contents

The Crimes of Communism
1
Paradoxes and Misunderstandings Surrounding
39
The Iron Fist of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
53
The Red Terror
71
The Dirty War
81
From Tambov to the Great Famine
108
The Comintern in Action
271
The Shadow of the NKVD in Spain
333
A Long March into Night
463
Crimes Terror and Secrecy in North Korea
547
The Impasse of War Communism
565
The Country of Disconcerting Crimes
577
Communism in Latin America
647
Ethiopia Angola and Mozambique
683
Communism in Afghanistan
705
Why?
727

Communism and Terrorism
353
Poland the Enemy Nation
363
Central and Southeastern Europe
394
Between Reeducation and Massacre
457
Notes
759
Index
823
About the Authors
857
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Stéphane Courtois is Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, and editor of the journalCommunisme.

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