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Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Language: English. Brand new Book. As the death toll mounts-as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1. Seller Inventory AAZ Book Description Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory ST Seller Inventory ST Not Signed; Already famous throughout Europe, this text 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.
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View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title 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. Review : When it was first published in France in , Le livre noir du Communisme touched off a storm of controversy that continues to rage today.
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THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM by Stephane Courtois | Kirkus Reviews
Crimes, Terror, Repression Stephane Courtois. Published by Harvard University Press Seller Rating:. What emerged out of the Civil War and into the period of the New Economic Policy was a Bolshevik party that was victorious in war, but facing political defeat; bureaucratised and with no clear vision of where to go or what to do. It had survived through those difficult early years, but at the cost of putting its existence as a revolutionary proletarian party deeply in jeopardy.
The rise of Stalinism represented the defeat of Bolshevism, the end-product of the fiercely difficult conditions of the early Soviet republic and its isolation in a hostile world, the transformation of many revolutionaries into state bureaucrats, and the extinction of the Soviet Communist Party as a revolutionary proletarian force.
The democratic thrust of Bolshevism could now only manifest itself in oppositional trends. Official Communism — Stalinism — was a product of Bolshevism, but a negative one; the product of its defeat, not of its victory; the mutation of a Communist force into a form of anti-Communism, antagonistic to capitalism, but equally opposed to Communism.
If one looks at official Communism, the marks of that defeat are very clear. Never has official Communism, either as regimes or opposition parties, ever acted in the tradition of the Bolsheviks of ; it has always acted in the Stalinist tradition.
The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression
What we had in China from the s was the wreckage of the Communist Party going up-country as a bureaucratic military leadership heading a peasant jacquerie , with nothing to do with a proletarian revolution whatsoever. Official Communism in power was basically a substitute for a weak or even non-existent bourgeoisie, attempting to implement a programme of modernisation, including industrialisation, literacy and land reform. The Stalinist Five Year Plans of the s usually served as a model, and in Third World countries, sometimes with an imitation of the Chinese experience thrown in.
Our authors employ a sneaky sleight of hand when comparing Communism and fascism in that Bolshevism and Stalinism are lumped together, with the latter being the inescapable result of the former, whilst fascism is completely abstracted from capitalism, as if the authors are trying to dissociate the Third Reich from the capitalist system. Indeed, The Black Book manages to overlook the frightful number of deaths that have occurred under capitalism. What about the many millions of deaths in the slave trade?
What about the First World War, the parts of the Second World War that did not involve the Soviet Union, the millions of deaths in various Third World famines and wars, the near-extinction of Australian aborigines and the extermination of Tasmanian natives, the slaughter of Native Americans and the deaths in the US Civil War, or the Turkish genocidal attack upon the Armenians?
For all what they have done, North Korea or North Vietnam did not drop hundreds of thousands of tons of high explosive on the USA, like the USA did on them, killing several million people. Perhaps the most virulent contributor to The Black Book is Courtois.
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A former Maoist, he is using this opportunity to expurgate himself thoroughly of his old sinful ideas. The most remarkable thing is that he comes out with all this as if he has rolled away the stone and is revealing something startlingly original. Having said this, I do not wish to take an uncritical attitude towards Bolshevism.
Whether we like it or not, the spectre of Kronstadt hangs over the October Revolution, and Marxists, particularly those in and around the Trotskyist movement, should replace their rather romantic image of the first few years of the Soviet state with an analysis that attempts to explain how and why the party-state apparatus constructed by the Bolsheviks came into conflict with many of the workers who had supported them in This breakdown between the Bolsheviks and the working class must be carefully studied; the party-class relationship is something that the Bolsheviks themselves and the Socialist tradition from which they emerged did not really comprehend — it was no accident that State and Revolution broke off at the point when it was to be discussed.