Comrades: A World History of Communism

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9781405053457: Comrades: A World History of Communism

From Marx to Mao, from Engels to Allende, from Lenin and Stalin to Ceaucescu and Castro, Comrades tells the story of communism from its inception to the present day. It offers a succession of incisive pen-portraits of outstanding leaders and decisive events and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. It draws on material from many national collections and several major languages and is the most up-to-date account produced since the 1960s. Ranging across not only the high politics and ideology of the most prominent communist regimes but also daily life under communism, culture and propaganda, Service analyses communism's appeal abroad as well as local attempts to set up communist administrations. He ends by showing that there was more to communism than mere brutality and demonstrates that while communism in its primordial form is now dead in most countries, the causes of its ability to gather support among intellectuals and ordinary people have not vanished: economic poverty and political oppression. And the lasting message of the book is that something must be done to eradicate poverty and oppression if the world is to avoid a repetition of totalitarianism in some new form. It is a highly readable, compellingly argued and an exciting work of history, if not always a comforting one.

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About the Author:

Robert Service is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Lenin and Stalin (both published by Pan Macmillan), A History of Twentieth-Century Russia and Russia: Experiment with a People as well as many other books on Russia's past and present. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and Dean of St Antony's College, Oxford. He is married with four children.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this incisive study, Service (A History of Modern Russia) surveys the varieties of communist ideologies (from Marx to Marcuse) and regimes (the Soviet Union getting the lion's share of attention) and finds a coherent pattern, which he forthrightly labels totalitarianism. Communism's hallmarks, he argues, include violent dictatorships, rigid, all-encompassing states that shackle civil society, persecute religion and stifle individual freedom. Communist systems impose dowdy fashions and stagnant economies staffed by listless workers. Rather than historical vagaries, Service contends, these are necessary features of communism, rooted in Marxist-Leninist doctrine and essential to regimes that needed suffocating repression to keep a lid on popular discontent. Service's critique is overwhelmingly negative, with scathing portraits of Communist leaders, intellectuals and fellow travelers like Sidney and Beatrice Webb, whom he calls "Stalin's admiring slugs." Yet he manages to be fair; he calmly exposes crimes of Communist regimes, nods at their achievements (especially those of local Communist administrations in India and Western Europe) and smiles at the poetic neocommunism of Mexico's Subcommandante Marcos. In his fluent narrative style, Service covers a lot of ground, sometimes too cursorily; the book could use more statistics, especially on the performance of Communist economies. Still, though bound to be controversial, his is an engaging and useful introduction to a world-shaking movement. 24 b&w photos. (May)
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Service, Robert
Editorial: Macmillan, London (2007)
ISBN 10: 1405053453 ISBN 13: 9781405053457
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Descripción Macmillan, London, 2007. Hard Cover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Good. First By Macmillan. A heavy book; extra postage is likely. Size: 6" x 9". Nº de ref. de la librería 030814

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2.

Service, Robert
Editorial: Macmillan (2007)
ISBN 10: 1405053453 ISBN 13: 9781405053457
Nuevos Tapa dura Primera edición Cantidad: 2
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Alpha 2 Omega Books BA
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Descripción Macmillan, 2007. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. Mint condition.Macmillan,2007.First edition-2nd printing(3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2).Black hardback(red lettering to the spine) with Dj(small nick and scratch on the Dj cover),both in mint condition.Illustrated with colour drawings,cartoons,b/w maps.583pp including Notes,select bibliography,index.Price un-clipped.Heavy book. This is another paragraph Product Description: From Marx to Mao, from Engels to Allende, from Lenin and Stalin to Ceaucescu and Castro, Comrades tells the story of communism from its inception to the present day. It offers a succession of incisive pen-portraits of outstanding leaders and decisive events and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. It draws on material from many national collections and several major languages and is the most up-to-date account produced since the 1960s. Ranging across not only the high politics and ideology of the most prominent communist regimes but also daily life under communism, culture and propaganda, Service analyses communism's appeal abroad as well as local attempts to set up communist administrations. He ends by showing that there was more to communism than mere brutality and demonstrates that while communism in its primordial form is now dead in most countries, the causes of its ability to gather support among intellectuals and ordinary people have not vanished: economic poverty and political oppression. And the lasting message of the book is that something must be done to eradicate poverty and oppression if the world is to avoid a repetition of totalitarianism in some new form. It is a highly readable, compellingly argued and an exciting work of history, if not always a comforting one. Nº de ref. de la librería 520

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