ISBN-10:
0674076087
ISBN-13:
9780674076082
Pub. Date:
10/15/1999
Publisher:
Harvard
The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674076082
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/15/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 912
Sales rank: 96,942
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

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

Nicolas Werth is a researcher at the Institute for Contemporary History.

Jean-Louis Panné collaborated on the Dictionnaire biographique du mouvement ouvrier français.

Andrzej Paczkowski is Deputy Director and a professor at the Institute for Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Karel Bartošek is acting head of research at CNRS and the editor of the journal La nouvelle alternative.

Jean-Louis Margolin is a lecturer in history and coordinator of lectures at the University of Provence and a researcher at the Research Institute on Southeast Asia of CNRS.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: The Uses of Atrocity Martin Malia
  • Introduction: The Crimes of Communism Stéphane Courtois


I. A State against Its People: Violence, Repression, and Terror in the Soviet Union Nicolas Werth
  1. Paradoxes and Misunderstandings Surrounding the October Revolution
  2. The Iron Fist of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
  3. The Red Terror
  4. The Dirty War
  5. From Tambov to the Great Famine
  6. From the Truce to the Great Turning Point
  7. Forced Collectivization and Dekulakization
  8. The Great Famine
  9. Socially Foreign Elements and the Cycles of Repression
  10. The Great Terror (1936 -1938)
  11. The Empire of the Camps
  12. The Other Side of Victory
  13. Apogee and Crisis in the Gulag System
  14. The Last Conspiracy
  15. The Exit from Stalinism

  16. Conclusion
    II. Word Revolution, Civil War, and Terror Stéphane Courtois, Jean-Louis Panné, and Rémi Kauffer
  17. The Comintern in Action Stéphane Courtois and Jean-Louis Panné
  18. The Shadow of the NKVD in Spain Stéphane Courtois and Jean-Louis Panné
  19. Communism and Terrorism Rémi Kauffer

  20. III. The Other Europe: Victim of Communism Andrzej Paczkowski and Karel Bartoek
  21. Poland, the "Enemy Nation" Andrzej Paczkowski
  22. Central and Southeastern Europe Karel Bartoek

  23. IV. Communism in Asia: Between Reeducation and Massacre Jean-Louis Margolin and Pierre Rigoulot
    Introduction
  24. China: A Long March into Night Jean-Louis Margolin
  25. Crimes, Terror, and Secrecy in North Korea Pierre Rigoulot
  26. Vietnam and Laos: The Impasse of War Communism Jean-Louis Margolin
  27. Cambodia: The Country of Disconcerting Crimes Jean-Louis Margolin

  28. Conclusion
    Select Bibliography for Asia
    V. The Third World Pascal Fontaine, Yves Santamaria, and Sylvain Boulouque
  29. Communism in Latin America Pascal Fontaine
  30. Afrocommunism: Ethiopia, Angola, and Mozambique Yves Santamaria
  31. Communism in Afghanistan Sylvain Boulouque

  32. Conclusion: Why? Stéphane Courtois
  • Notes
  • Index
  • About the Authors

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The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How can the previous poster so cavalierly cast aside the contents of this book? It boggles the mind that he will not give communism the wholehearted denunciation that it deserves- a denunciation that should be one hundren million times more passionate than the vitriol with which people describe nazism. Capitalism does not kill people. It is political leaders playing games while the citizens of their nations starve that are responsible. When will the left (and people like Noam Chomsky and the previous poster) realize that, as apologists for such horror, they are culpable in the misery that communism wrought on mankind. Hitler pales in comparison. This book should be required reading in all colleges and universities, but, sadly, it won't be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is just further proof that the Communists were the first to commit a Holocaust against ALL PEOPLE. It's funny to hear the tortuous rationalizations of those still being duped by a bankrupt system. I think it was Stalin who likened them as 'useful idiots'. It seems there's no shortage of them still to this day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nothing could be truer of this phrase than the origins of communism. When Marx and Engels lived the misery of the industrial working class was at its peak - ruthless exploitation by countless factory owners with starvation wages, intimidation, child labor, dangerous and unhealthy workplaces, exploitation of women workers, etc. They felt a humanist impulse to give working people the dignity and respect they were so clearly lacking at the time. Their ideas of a better world with the social justice of a national commune were to haunt the 20th century with unprecedented waves of mass murder, terror, and repression more brutal and complete than the world had ever known. From reading the book, it's shown most communist leaders are nothing more than cynical and opportunistic politicians exploiting the hopes of the common people (and they were able to do this because no one else offered politically naive workers a golden paradise on earth). But behind all the propaganda and flag-waving, each man (e.g. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, et al) only sought to carve out his own absolute empire, ruled not by any idea of social justice but by a bloody and merciless pursuit of personal power. The result is always a destitute, dispirited, desperately poor (and significantly smaller) society. Communism became THE one true religion of the politically conscious working man. And like most religions, it cannot brook the existence of competing ideologies. Hence, communist leaders quickly labelled any power threat to be 'anti-soviet', 'anti-bolshevik', 'counter-revolutionary', 'kulak', 'syndicalist', etc., which, therefore, according to Lenin's satanic logic meant they were not humans and could be (physically) eliminated, i.e. slaughtered in their millions. And so it was, that communist regimes murdered and starved/worked to death well over 100 million people (ahem, the vast majority of them peasants and workers). This encyclopaedic book follows the publishing of an earlier 'Black Book of Fascism' (written by others). It's five sections contain frightening portraits of communism in the Soviet Union, Spain, Eastern Europe, East Asia (China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia), and the Third World (Cuba, Peru, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Angola, and Mozambique). It is the collaborative work of a group of French and Eastern European authors. The writing style flows well and is easy to read. And it is well-documented with plentiful endnotes and a source list for the those readers who remain in doubt. The book gives special attention to early Bolshevik Russia under Lenin, the demonic innovator of communist political culture. Lenin initiated all the social and political institutions of every following communist regime - denunciations, 're-education camps', party discipline (aka personal dictatorship), the Comintern, personal slavery to the state, legalized mass murder, death squads, the recruitment of the most sadistic thugs into the security services, the militarized regimentation of society, political show trials, etc. While most people are probably aware of Stalin's and Pol Pot's atrocities, they are usually unaware of all the heinous tortures and unbelievable crimes perpetrated by other leaders like Lenin, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Castro, Che Guevara (this man was a freelance executioner for Castro). Anyone (outside the political elite) that's actually lived in a country ruled by these men only seeks one thing - a way out of the nightmare. I especially recommend this book to left-leaning journalists who seem to have an inexplicable fondness for communism. Communism is definitely NOT cool!!! Let me tell these people that the instant they ever became residents in a communist state their illusions (and freedom of expression) would be very quickly and completely obliterated. Don't believe me? Go ahead and move to North Korea and find out for yourself. Communist leaders only use journalists, e.g. Edgar Snow
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read this book, I was suprised at the scope of the chaos wrought by the Communist revolutionaries throughout the world. I am not right-wing but I am also not a socialist/communist. These systems assume that people are willing to be treated like worker-ants. The problem is, human beings are driven by the desire to have more power. Starvation and brutality is the only way to subdue a human's ambition. It is the only way to enforce a collective economy. One of my college professors once said that Russian Communism failed because it wasn't given a chance to thrive in a world Communist market. What? The fact is, academic Socialists have become hard-headed idealists who hold on to absurd models of reality and make ridiculous comparisons to the atrocities commited by early America as if the oppression and abuse of the Native-Americans was anything close to the horrible madness that occured in Stalinist Russia. The only similarity is the fact that men with power, back then and today, tend to become indifferent to the suffering of others. This is true in any system. In America, we have a rigorous means of trying to keep this from happening but there are still many imbalances, especially when it comes to the African American. But that doesn't mean we should burn down the churches and schools, set up re-education camps, purge the universities and kill all the farmers. There must be a better way for the Communist dream to surivive. If the scholars who still support it can't figure out a way, then maybe it's time to come up with a new theory, one that isn't 150 years old. I mean really, how long can this nonsense stay in vogue with the intellectual left?
worldsedge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is almost as difficult a book to review as it was to read. The first issue that confronts the general reader (that would be me) is the extent to which they should acknowledge or ignore the controversy swirling around some of the more lurid accusations made in the work, particularly with reference to things like the Ukrainian Famine and some of the more outrageous actions of the Maoist regime. What I have tentatively concluded is that what is contained in the work is in substance correct, though that the authors -- particularly the lead author/editor (Coutrois) -- also never passed up an opportunity to relate a lurid tale, a stomach turning anecdote or a weird personal habit of a leading Communist. Which is a pity since such antics ultimately detracted from the work rather than added to it. A hard-nosed journalistic approach that left out the polemic, or at any rate confined it to only certain parts of the narrative (as in say a few paragraphs at the end of each sections) would probably have been far more effective.The second issue is simply the mass of data, names and dates interjected,machine-gun like, page after page, chapter after chapter. No human -- or at any rate this human -- could possibly keep it all straight, leading me to think this work would far better be approached as a reference than as a narrative, the latter being how I read it.But let us set the above aside, and simply conclude that for the present this is this THE definitive one volume work on the rise, life and ultimate death of Communism as a worldwide revolutionary phenomena, in those nations where Communism of some flavor achieved political ascendency. Perhaps a more complete, more easily digestible or less heavy on the polemic history will someday be written, but to my knowledge it has not yet been. As to the specific sections of the text: I was particularly impressed by the chapters on the functioning of the Comintern/Cominform, the chapter on Communism in Afghanistan and the chapter on Cambodia under Pol Pot. I was less impressed on some of the material present on China, which seemed biased toward the lurid and the chapter on Poland, which was perhaps the heaviest in the text on anti-Communist polemic.
ORFisHome on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent but heartbreaking accounting of the brutality of the early Soviet Union and Bolsheviks through Stalin. The numbers of those killed and forcibly moved were staggering as was the evidence given of how quickly Communism destroys an economy and society. Communism bred mistrust among everyone, even leadership.
improbus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely the most crushing indictment of Communism available on the free market.
RandyStafford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As the Beatles' song goes on to say, "If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow."Unfortunately, those who blatantly profess their allegiance to communism still get seated at the polite tables of civilization. This book provides plenty of evidence why the communist should be afforded even less sympathy in civil society than the professed fan of Adolf Hitler. Indeed, amongst other startling revelations in this book is that Nazi death camps were partially modelled on Soviet labor camps.To be sure the subtitle, "Crimes, Terror, Repression," refers to a horrifying, sometimes mind-numblingly long list of tortures, familiar and unfamiliar, to the body and spirit, and the 700 plus pages of text are not a pleasant read. Still, this book is a valueable. For starters, it refutes a propaganda point that communist governments, particularly the Soviet Union and its satellite countries, liked to use: that they were the bulwark against fascism. Not only did the USSR, in a non-aggression pact, collude with Hitler, but it actively killed fellow anti-fascists in Spain and before and during its war with Hitler. As the book documents, communist parties the world over habitually killed fellow communists who deviated from the necessary purity, and they also killed those who struggled with them against colonial powers in Southeast Asia and against Batista's dictatorship in Cuba. The communists in Russia, after the 1917 revolution, killed more political opponents in two month's than the Czar did in 80 years.Though it's not the first to do so, the book documents that the Russian experiment in communism was not some relatively peaceful affair launched by Lenin and betrayed by a bloodthirsty Stalin. To be sure, the paranoid Stalin launched immense purges, forced labor projects, and engineered famines, but terror was a principle embraced and practiced from the beginning by Lenin.The book also refutes the commonly recited falsehood that Mao bettered the average Chinese's lot. His policies directly led to perhaps the greatest famine in history, and he was not above conducting his own purges.Most of these crimes against their supposed beneficiaries are documented not only through secondary histories but also primary sources of survivor accounts and government documents.The book is divided into sections covering communism in five different manifestations: Soviet, Eastern European, Asian, the Third World, and attempts to foster international revolution via the Comintern and terrorism. China and Russia get several chapters each but most other countries that had communist regimes get at least one chapter. The book draws two general distinctions between the communism of Asia and the Soviet Union and its satellites. The Soviet model emphasized political murder of its opponents and citizens (though it was willing to simply exploit them as economic assets in labor camps). While China also has labor camps and a history of bloody repressions against its citizens, it also developed a program of trying to change the mind of its citizens as well as compel obediance through terror. The Khmer Rouge model, built by the secretive Pol Pot, combined the worst of both: idealogical reprogramming and murder.To be sure, if you're not familiar with the history of some of the covered countries, the relevant chapters seem like a collection of strange names and obscure events. This is particlarly true of the sections on Eastern Europe where the authors assume a certain knowledge of the background politics and figures. On the other hand, the book is genuinely informative even to someone like me, a neophyte, in its chapters on communist politics in Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Not only are communist crimes there covered but the background history is also explained well.The chapter on NKVD death squads in Spain is not the first revelation of their activities but does serve as a good summary.This book was originally published in France, and th
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should be in every school library across the country. People must know that Communism, a totalitarian system of government no better than the fascist variety, is largely responsible for making the 20th century the bloodiest in human history. Wherever the followers of Marx were able to grab power, there was repression, terror, torture, mass murder and, in many cases, class-based genocide. I cannot stress how badly this needs to be read, because I've heard far too many 'useful idiots' (Hell, just look at some of the 1-star 'reviews.' Books such as this one really bring the idiots out of the woodwork!) say things such as 'I don't really view communism as a bad thing.' (Whoppi Goldberg) and 'when Communist U.S.S.R. was a superpower, the world was better off.' (Janeane Garofalo). I have a feeling that if you walked down the street and asked various people about the Soviet Gulag or Stalin's forced famine in Ukraine, you'd most likely get blank looks, because they have forgotten. This book was written to remind them. Some, mostly radical Leftists who want you to forget about the bloody history of their favorite ideology, have said that The Black Book is 'biased' because it doesn't mention the atrocities of 'anti-Communists' such as Pinochet, Suharto, Rios Montt, Somoza and Marcos. True, but this is a history of Communist crimes, the starvation and wholesale slaughter of *SCORES OF MILLIONS* of people by Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Mengistu, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-Il, etc, which make the crimes of the aforementioned anti-Communists pale in comparison. How many books on Nazi mass murder mention Communist atrocities during WWII (the bloody massacres at Katyn, Bleiburg, Nemmersdorf, Vinnitsa, the mass rape of German women by the Red Army, the deportation of ethnic minorities in the USSR, the murderous post-war expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe)? Not many. Does that mean these books on Nazi genocide are 'biased' and therefore not credible for failing to mention the misdeeds committed by the other side? I don't believe so. And so what if an 'anti-Communist' or a 'right-winger' writes about the crimes of Communism? Don't anti-Fascists and Jews write about the evils of Nazism? While you're at Barnes&Noble.com, look up a few books on the 'crimes' committed by the Pinochet regime in Chile (the 3,000 'disappeared' Communists and sympathizers we are *always* hearing about. The Left would have us believe it was the crime of the century. But their hero Stalin had that many people executed in just three days during the height of Great Terror). You'll notice that nearly all of them were written by Marxists and Socialists who are pro-Allende. Perhaps we should discount them altogether? There is also some controversy over the numbers The Black Book claims to have been killed by Communism. Some say the introduction places the number too high (100 million, which is accepted by The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: www.victimsofcommunism.org). Even some contributors to the book, former Communists who are obviously not ready to completely damn the poisoned ideology of Marxism, have denounced Courtois for inflating the numbers and said they would have settled for a total of 85 million. I have to admit that I also have a problem with one estimate. The introduction places those killed by the Soviet regime from 1917-1991 at only 20 million. Many historians estimate that Stalin ALONE killed 20 million people (Robert Conquest, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Daniel Chirot, Adam Hochschild, Tina Rosenberg, etc). Alexander Yakovlev, author of the excellent book on Soviet tyranny and mass murder entitled 'A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia,' places the Soviet death toll at 30-35 million (in my opinion the most reliable estimate). Others, such as 'atrocitologist' R.J. Rummel and Gulag survivor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, place the Soviet death toll at a whopping 60 million! Therefore I believe it is safe to say that Communism is ind
Guest More than 1 year ago
A tour-de-force which is in the end, sadly, unreadable. The book is stuffed full of irrefutable facts (obtained from the archives of the Communists themselves) concerning the massacre, slavery, and oppression Communists, as a matter of principle, subject the people to. The book, written by a committee of scholars, reads with all the human warmth of your new blender¿s instruction manual. It is more a listing of aggregate numbers arrested, tortured, slaughtered, imprisoned in slave labor camps, etc than a book per se. For a much better written (and therefore much more powerful) indictment of Communism, Anna Applebaum¿s Gulag is the ticket. This is more a reference book than a history book, to be taken off your shelf when you wish to know, for example, how many people the Communists slaughtered in Ukraine from 1930 to 1936. But as for a straight through reading, this is not the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. We know communism was the most terrible political philosophy and form of government ever, and now you can read about all of it right in this book. It's no wonder that so many Left-Wing communist sympathizers showed up here to write a review on a book they probably didn't even bother to read. They're probably just taking orders from their communist leaders over in Europe, Cuba and China. Seriously, that's what the Hollywood Ten were doing. It all runs from the top. And no, there have not been famines and masacres because of capitalism; that's a contradiction in terms. Truly capitalist countries would never do such a thing, or capitalism would no longer exist. Capitalism forbids famines and masacres, communism requires it. Now sure, not everyone in a capitalistic country is a home owning, successful person, but that is not due to the government's laws and regulations; it is because they cannot steal from others that which they do not create; they do not aquire the unearned. Can you see the difference between that and slavery, communist reviewers? It's called individual rights, the right to one's life, and one's own property. Communism and Fascism are both Leftist ideologies, falling under the title, statism. You try to say that Communism is on the Left, but Fascism is on the Right, so that people will not be allowed to think they have the choice of individual liberty. Your game is up, communists.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should be a must read for all who still think communism works. It should be taught in schools just like the Nazi and Holocaust atrocities are taught. It goes into great and undisputed account on how communism works, how it's propaganda machine swallows those who fail to look beyond the shallow of its smoke screen and how it manages to exterminate masses by the millions so they can stay in power. Some people think the authors should have gone into the atrocities committed by capitalism as well: there are plenty of books that go into that, more than plenty; the left wing is always willing and able to write about capitalism's evils. It's about time someone had the courage to write about communism being evil. It's too bad that most Americans won't ever know about this book, never mind read it. Barnes and Noble has sold a miserable 15,000 copies, which is just a shame. Communism is still regarded here and in other parts of the world as a great system that hasn't been tried by the 'right' people. Communism doesn't work, period. In order for it to work, those who have tried it have to rely on fear, mass murdering, fanine, abolishing freedom of religion, speech and press and (very important) arms confiscation, in order to stablish it. Once it's stablished, it has resulted in desperate mass migration from those countries. This book does a great service to communism's millions of victims, of whom seldom anything is said. I read with interest the previous reviewer's opinion, which rates the book one star and talks about people who, having their minds made up, will swallow this book whole: I doubt this person even took the time to read 'The Black Book of Communism'; talk about someone who sounds like they had their minds already made up: he should look himself in the mirror.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As expected, the English translation found our collectivist academia well prepared and combat ready---they had years to plan their defense since the original French publication and the subsequent ruckus in Germany. What¿s to add? One realizes with relief that America is still a socialist backwater---despite decades of effort. Compared to the European Left¿s refined and concentrated attacks on Courtois, our comrades¿ attempts are rather crude. In addition, the ¿unsophisticated¿ American reader cares as much about the finer scholarly distinctions between Marxism-Leninism, National Socialism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism and Democratic Socialism as he does about scholarly dissertations on the differences between the Medellín and Cali kartels, or Cripps and Bloods. Now, I know I blew it by including National Socialism in the lineup. Serious campus Marxists will refuse to discuss it any further while Holocaust Deniers will add their voice to the Socialist Scholars and Euro-American Academic Nomads listed above. We¿ll probably learn that there was an orderly employment policy in the Third Reich and that Treblinka was a welfare facility for elderly homeless Jews. Oh well, Stéphane---you knew. It¿s gonna be a chore.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No, it was not capitalism that killed hundreds of millions of people - it was communism - the Marx/Engel/Lenin/Stalin/Castro variety. It's sad that some people STILL think that socialism can still work - it can't. Concentrations of economic power lead to concentrations of political power, and have to be enforced by mass executions. Attempting to implement Marx will ALWAYS lead to Mao and Stalin. Finally, this book is a timely reminder for those who think Cuba is just another country to which we should send children...
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is excellent for any one intrerested in the massisive killings of 'communists' ,but it fails to recognize that it was State-capitalism, not communism, as it has never been established, Stalin and Mao were members of a ruling class that forced the working class to produce wealth for their profit,and actualy (owned) ie controlled the means of production, it should be called the black book of capitalism.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The question is no longer what happened as this has been well covered. Or denouncing someone elses beliefs as evil or wrong. Mankind continually finds new lows to sink to and the excuses to rationalize them. Communism is an idea. It didn't kill or instruct people to kill. Its been used as the justification and the scapegoat for all imaginable events. The responsiblity is not of the idea but the people pushing it. This book is good in that it quantifies damage wrought. However, one book does not explain all. It is recommendable to read in depth on each country to see that the bloodletting did not merely start with 'communism', nor did it end with liberation. I question the rationale of generalizing and not addressing details to accurately conceptualize the past and present. For example, the Sandinistas were given more attention than Sendero Luminoso, an absurdity. It would be nice to see every fraudulent belief of superiority exposed, unfortunately there will be more, and some are closer to home than you may think. Do not end your search for the truth with this book. There is more to the world than self-congratulatory rhetoric and pointing fingers. I recommend you read this book but in comparison to your other studies and with an open yet critical mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every canard reiterated by the right since 1917 seems to have been unearthed and inserted in these pages as 'evidence.' If only there were a Black Book of Anti-Communism... By nicely positioning themselves between two totalitarian regimes - i.e. Nazism and Communism - the editors claim neutrality when, in fact, they are de facto allied to the former. The Axis power bloc originated in 1938 as the Anti-Comintern Pact. All the fascist atrocities of WWII were done in the name of anti-Communism (and could anything attributed to Mao be worse than the Japanese medical experiments in Manchuria?) Capitalism has produced its own share of famines and massacres. Stalin's handling of the Chechens was no different than Pres. Jackson's dealings with the Cherokees. The Famine of '33 in the Ukraine was no more devastating than Ireland's in 1848, also a combination of crop failure and political economy. Such facts ill serve the politically motivated triumphalism of this agglomeration of unverifiable gossip and illogical statistics. One final note: the graphic if blurred photo allegedly depicting the rectal impalement of a Polish officer by Red troops in the Russian civil war shows, on closer inspection, these soldiers to be wearing the uniform of the anti-Bolshevik White Army. Those whose minds are already made up will surely swallow this book's many other funny facts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This huge study is valueless, because its statistics and conclusions are derived solely from the authors' fevered imaginations. They prefer prejudice to evidence, blind anti-communist 'faith' to reason. The recently opened Russian archives show that the true figure of Soviet citizens who died in the 1930s is about 300,000 deaths. Most writers on the subject, including the authors of this tome, have relied not on the archives, but on Robert Conquest's estimates. Richard Evans, Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, has explained how Conquest reached his figures: 'Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror Famine (New York, 1986) argues that the `dekulakization' of the early 1930s led to the deaths of 6,500,000 people. But this estimate is arrived at by extremely dubious methods, ranging from reliance on hearsay evidence through double counting to the consistent employment of the highest possible figures in estimates made by other historians.' For example, the American historian Charles Maier stated that Stalin was responsible for more deaths than Hitler. But Evans observed that Maier could only reach this conclusion by accepting 'Conquest's implausible and inflated estimates without question, while omitting deaths caused by Nazi aggression in the East (which also, apart from military and exterminatory action, led to famines and deportations). The number of deaths caused by Nazism's eastward drive may itself have been as many as 20 million.' (Richard Evans, In Hitler's shadow, Tauris, 1989, page 170.) In fact, to reach his judgement of comparative responsibility, Maier simply omitted all the 50 million people killed in the world war that Hitler started. It's also worth remembering that it was the Red Army who defeated 70% of Hitler's armies. It was the Red Army who played the largest part in stopping Hitler, the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with statistics that make no sence at all. The people don't even know what communism is! Communism was not established in the USSR and has never been established. What happened was Socialism and it was much much better than what I live in now... Communism is when everybody is equal and there is no money AT ALL. People work as much as they want and take as much as they want from the store and don't pay anything at all! This book is complete propoganda to hide people from the truth! DO NOT BUY IT! IT'S A WASTE OF TIME!!!