- By Richard Pipes

Communism: A History

  • Title: Communism: A History
  • Author: Richard Pipes
  • ISBN: 9780812968644
  • Page: 120
  • Format: Paperback
  • Communism A History With astonishing authority and clarity Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime s scholarship into a single focused history of Communism from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a prac

    With astonishing authority and clarity, Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime s scholarship into a single focused history of Communism, from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a practice At its heart, the book is a history of the Soviet Union, the most comprehensive reorganization of human society ever attempted by a nation state This is the story of hoWith astonishing authority and clarity, Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime s scholarship into a single focused history of Communism, from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a practice At its heart, the book is a history of the Soviet Union, the most comprehensive reorganization of human society ever attempted by a nation state This is the story of how the agitation of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, two mid nineteenth century European thinkers and writers, led to a great and terrible world religion that brought down a mighty empire, consumed the world in conflict, and left in its wake a devastation whose full costs can only now be tabulated.

    1 thought on “Communism: A History

    1. Some interesting facts and points, particularly at the start, but then it just turns into a tirade about why capitalism is good and communism is wrong, by the end I was not just angry but flabbergasted, especially about his positive reference to the Pinochet coup in Chile and how they delat with the Allende regime, I'm surprised the author has any credibility in academic circles by the one sided nature of this treatise. Only worth reading as a way of understanding the blinkered viewpoint of the [...]

    2. The proper indictment of a rotten ideology that enslaved and murdered millions of people, this book's concise expose and explanation of an idea in theory and practice is a definite must read.

    3. Great book. I've always been so curious and have struggled to rap my mind around what Communism really meant, what life was/is like under "Communist" regimes, and how they came to power all over the world. This book answers a lot of questions I've had and fills in a lot of gaps in my understanding of it. Also, it is well written and easy to read. I'd enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone who is as curious on this subject as myself.

    4. Other reviewers rather critical of this book note, on the first hand, that there are passages where Pipes simply makes obvious factual errors, and, on the other, his peculiar, and rather much too blunt for the more squeamish reader, value judgements regarding his subject. He is, to use a cliché, -resoundingly- clear: communism is pure fucking garbage in theory and practice. Additionally I would emphasize his highly dubious economics [he even quotes Hayek at one point, lol]. Here is what I will [...]

    5. I loved this book. As a child of the cold war I grew up with Communism being shoved down our throats as the answer to everything, while the rest of us stupid people in the entire world saw the non-answer that it was. Even now Castro can't be praised enough. How much of a absolute failure does a idea have to be before it goes to the ash heap of history? I guess the entire Russian subcontinent, or Eastern Europe is not enough apparently.

    6. This book definitely has some interesting research, but I found that the thesis was not well proven overall. Pipes has an obvious anticommunist bent, and he has a way of distorting or "cherry-picking" facts to fit his ideas. By the end of the book, I was so turned off by his arguments that I will probably never read another of his books.

    7. I wanted to read a book about communism after serving my mission in Hungary and seeing the aftermath. It solidified my belief in the wickedness of the communist system. This book covered Lenin and Stalin in Russia, as well as a little of Mao Ze Dang in China, and Fidel Castro in Cuba. The focus was on Russia and Lenin and Stalin.

    8. Richard Pipes sets out to answer whether the failure of Communism "was due to human error or to flaws inherent in its very nature." To resolve this question, Pipes traces the history of Communism from its conceit, through its regimes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and then to its repeated demise in those places. Then, in an excellent final chapter, Pipes annihilates both the practice and philosophy of Communism and gives a resounding answer to the book's original question.Parting word goes [...]

    9. This concise 160 page book is quite simply the best book on the history of communism I have ever read. It is easy to read and explains the entire movement from Marx to 1991. To understand the 20th century this is a crucial topic to digest. Also I would like to mention that Pipes is really hard on Lenin. I used to hold Lenin to a higher standard than say a Stalin, but Pipes skillfully argues that Lenin laid all of the groundwork and was as ruthless as anyone. A great, great little book.

    10. An informative overview/review of one of the driving forces of the 20th Century that I realized I did not know about in nearly enough detail. Pipes lays out the rise and fall of the Big C, from idealism to oppression, and examines why it is a flawed concept at its core. Here's a part I found particularly fitting for our current political climate: "Mostmpathizers were not oblivious to the odious aspects of Communist rule, but they rationalized them in various ways: by blaming extraneous causes, s [...]

    11. This book talked only little about the theory of communism and much more about the reality of what happened when different people tried to turn the world into a communist society in the 20th century. It's a good summary of what happened, but does not dive into the topic. Still it was a good (and fast) reading experience.

    12. Good quick read from one of America's foremost Russian historians. This book examines why Communism - in all it's earthly iterations - has been a dismal failure. Pipes explains why it is not the implementation but something inherent in the ideology which carries the seeds of its failure.

    13. This was most definitely a very informative book on communism. the best, if you want a quick & understandable read about its history. makes me want to read more about communism honestly. i really adore history.

    14. A short book that you should give to every college student to counter all the Marxism-Leninism thrust on them.

    15. Great book. Perfect for the reader with little or no knowledge of communism. Offers wonderful context for the major events of the last 100 years.

    16. Excellent, succinct work. Pipes presents a thorough summary of the philosophy and the practice of Communism, and finds it wanting.

    17. Generally, the book is a good overview of Communism history. Pipes focused mainly on Russia's Lenin and Stalin time, a bit of Cuba, China, and Cambodia. However, he kept claiming how awful is communism in theory and practice and how great is capitalism, supporting his claim with the destruction of the Soviet Union instead of the destruction of capitalism, as Marx predicted. As well as, continuously mentioning the atrocities of communism without mentioning the atrocities of capitalism. Thus, If h [...]

    18. I simply sought to learn what they didn't quite teach in school, and now I have a more holistic understanding of things. Go USA!

    19. Indead this is an accusatory history of communism. Yet is it not a legit accusation ? Pipes, who is on the right is accused by some of being against the left what a naive surprise for the left

    20. While wandering aimlessly through the stacks at my university library recently, my eyes fell upon Communism by Richard Pipes. I opened it up and it appeared to contain a history of the Russian Revolution. Since this is a particular area of history where I have very little knowledge, I thought I might begin remedying the situation by reading this. I've been reading it off and on during note-taking sessions in the university library, and I finished it today. I don't really know who Pipes is: he se [...]

    21. This is more of a short survey rather than a comprehensive history and deals with Marx and communism in Russia (the rise of Marxism-Leninism in Russia, Stalinism and subsequent events in Russia to the fall of communism), China, southeast Asia, Ethiopia, Cuba and Nicaragua as well as the three-year presidency of Salvadore Allende in Chile.I had considered communism in general to be totalitarian, but it appears that the Maoist version in China set the bar for totalitarianism. For example, Stalinis [...]

    22. Richard Pipes é um professor de Oxford especialista na história do comunismo e do regime soviético, instalado em 1917. Comunismo é um livro curto, mas que mostra a essência do que foi esse movimento revolucionário, o maior fragelo do século XX. Baseados na idéia de uma era de ouro, de um passado onde não existia capitalismo e os homens viviam em perfeita harmonia, e que seria possível reformar a natureza humana para criar um novo homem fruto da educação e da violência revolucionári [...]

    23. Worth reading for history newbies like myself, if only for the concise history of the USSR, especially the Lenin-Stalin period.Two problems with this book. First, while I found the author's division of Communism (into theory, plan, practice) useful to get my head around the topic, there seemed to be internal contradictions where the author would talk, for example, about how the practice of Communism was not the same as the theory (no problem here), but then he used evidence of the practice to sp [...]

    24. This book is a succinct account of the theory and practice of communism in the world. It covers its most important players, especially the major figures of Lenin and Stalin. However, it is written in an overtly anti-communist tone and it fails to show all the economic and social changes brought by communist regimes, focusing instead on the massacres perpetrated and deficient economic planning. They sure must be stressed because the uses and abuses of it were intolerable, but a more balanced acco [...]

    25. This is AWFUL. For a far more balanced and significantly less ethnocentric view, read The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World by David Priestland.(No really. Pipes attacks the KGB but doesn't acknowledge the covert security services of any of the many other countries active in the Cold War. Also, there are numerous factual errors and misleading arguments in the Latin American section, especially concerning Nicaragua and Chile. And he repeatedly conflates examples separated by [...]

    26. A concise and lucid overview of Communism. Gave me a good look at the motivation and ideas behind the movement, the reality of its implementation, and why it failed so spectacularly.One should be aware while reading it that the author is a neoconservative ideologue, but that doesn't detract from the value of the book.One point I flatly disagree with Pipes is his view that the US didn't use the CIA to intervene in the toppling of Allende and the installation of Pinochet's fascist dictatorship. Al [...]

    27. The title can be a little deceptive. Before I started reading I thought this was going to be more of a history of the theory of Communism or Marxism and it's development from Marx and Engles through Antonio Gramsci and Nicos Poulantzas, etc. Instead, this is a history of Communism as an implemented form of governance starting with Lenin and his Bolshevik movement which later took the name Communist. The rest of the book unfolds from this point touching on other communist movements in China, Cuba [...]

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