Black Book of Communism

Black Book of Communism

Crimes, Terror, Repression

Book - 1999
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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 experience-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 mounts-as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on-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.

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press : 1999
ISBN: 9780674076082
Branch Call Number: 335.4 B561c
Characteristics: 856p illus
Additional Contributors: Kramer, Mark, ed
Courtois, Stephane


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redban Sep 25, 2014

Undemocratic Socialism is oppressive, just like undemocratic Capitalism. The danger is unaccountable power in the hands of a few, be it authoritarian dictatorships or corporate monopolies. Both the proletariat dictatorship AND the free market are mythical utopias built on extremist ideologies.

EuSei Jun 15, 2012

(I don't like to comment what other patrons wrote, but I must make this exception. Democracy is a political system; socialism is an economic system. How can one mix them up?) If there is a book that must be read, this is it. Extremely well-documented, formed by a collection of essays by distinguish scholars (most members of the Left, some former communists), this book exposes the reality of communism, not the lies spread by the media and their acolytes on the Left. The book’s editor, Stéphane Courtoi, was absurdly accused of anti-Semitism by the French rag “Le Monde” for (rightfully) equating communism to nazism. Together with Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism,” it will help push back the frontiers of ignorance—to paraphrase my favorite Conservative, Dr. Walter E. Williams. (NOTICE: Attempts to censor (“Report this”) my comments will be fiercely fought under the aegis of American Libraries’ beloved principles: Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Read, Intellectual Freedom.)

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EuSei Jun 15, 2012

The child of a Ukrainian kulak deliberately starved to death by the Stalinist regime is worth no less than a Jewish child in the Warsaw ghetto starved to death by the Nazi regime. Stéphane Courtois

EuSei Jun 15, 2012

"Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit." Ignazio Silone


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