Comrades!: A History of World Communism

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Harvard University Press, 2007 - History - 571 pages
3 Reviews

Almost two decades after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR, leading historian Robert Service examines the history of communism throughout the world. Comrades! moves from Marx and Lenin to Mao and Castro and beyond to trace communism from its beginnings to the present day.

Offering vivid portraits of the protagonists and decisive events in communist history, Service looks not only at the high politics of communist regimes but also at the social conditions that led millions to support communism in so many countries. After outlining communism's origins with Marx and Engels and its first success with Lenin and the Russian Revolution in 1917, Service examines the Soviet bloc, long-lasting regimes like Yugoslavia and Cuba, the Chinese revolution, the spread of communism in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and the international links among the hundreds of parties. He covers communism's organization and ideology as well as its general appeal. He looks at abortive communist revolutions and at the ineffectual parties in the United States and elsewhere.

Service offers a human view of the story as well as a global analysis. His uncomfortable conclusion--and an important message for the twenty-first century--is that although communism in its original form is now dying or dead, the poverty and injustice that enabled its rise are still dangerously alive. Unsettling and compellingly written, Comrades! is the most comprehensive study of one of the most important movements of the modern world.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - xuebi - LibraryThing

Out of Service's books on Communism, this is both his broadest and unfortunately, his weakest. The scope is impressive, particularly in the particulars of communism in lesser-known situations such as ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Opinionated - LibraryThing

For an expert on Communism, Robert Service doesn't have many kind words to say for his subject which must make for a depressing speciality. In fact this is less a history of communism than a history ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
ORIGINS TO 1917
11
COMMUNISM BEFORE MARXISM
13
MARX AND ENGELS
24
COMMUNISM IN EUROPE
36
RUSSIAN VARIATIONS
46
THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION
58
THE FIRST COMMUNIST STATE
70
WESTERN EUROPE
261
WARRING PROPAGANDA
272
THE CHINESE REVOLUTION
283
ORGANISING COMMUNISM
293
AGAINST AND FOR REFORM
304
MUTATION 19571979
317
DETENTE AND EXPANSION
319
CHINA CONVULSED
331

EXPERIMENT 19171929
83
EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONS
85
COMMUNISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS
97
THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL
107
PROBING AMERICA
119
MAKING SENSE OF COMMUNISM
130
THE USSR IN TORMENT
142
THE SOVIET MODEL
153
DEVELOPMENT 19291947
165
WORLD STRATEGY
167
STALINIST IDEOLOGY
179
INSIDE THE PARTIES
190
FRIENDS AND FOES
202
COMMUNISM IN THE WORLD WAR
213
FORCING THE PEACE
224
REPRODUCTION 19471957
237
THE COLD WAR AND THE SOVIET BLOC
239
THE YUGOSLAV ROAD
251
REVOLUTIONARY CUBA
342
COMMUNIST ORDER
354
RETHINKING COMMUNISM
366
EUROPE EAST AND WEST
379
REDUCED EXPECTATIONS
391
LAST OF THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTIONS
401
ENDINGS FROM 1980
413
ROADS FROM COMMUNISM
415
ANTICOMMUNISM IN EASTERN EUROPE
426
CHINAS CAPITALIST COMMUNISM
437
PERESTROIKA
448
THE COMRADES DEPART
459
ACCOUNTING FOR COMMUNISM
473
Notes
483
Select Bibliography
522
Index
551
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About the author (2007)

Robert Service was born in England and earned a worldwide reputation as a poet of the Arctic. He died in Europe in 1958.

Robert Service was born on October 29, 1947. He received an MA in modern languages from the University of Cambridge and an MA and a PhD in government from the University of Essex. He is a Russian historian and political commentator. He has written numerous books including Comrades: A World History of Communism; Stalin: A Biography, Lenin: A Biography, and Spies and Commissars. He received the 2009 Duff Cooper Prize for Trotsky: A Biography.

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