Comrades! : a history of world communism

by Robert Service

Paper Book, 2007

Status

Available

Publication

Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2007.

Description

"Offering vivid portraits of the protagonists and decisive events in communist history, Service looks not only at the high politics of communist regimes but also at the social conditions that led millions to support communism in so many countries."--BOOK JACKET.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Trotsky731
A good starting position for those exploring world communism. A pretty fair retelling of the rise and fall of the communist belief system. Focuses mainly on the Soviet Union and its intricacies rather than a true in depth look at world communism (the author is a professor of Russian history). But overall a good reader for beginners on the subject.… (more)
LibraryThing member Opinionated
For an expert on Communism, Robert Service doesn't have many kind words to say for his subject which must make for a depressing speciality. In fact this is less a history of communism than a history of Russian Communism. Although Service feels obliged to add chapters on China, which feels somewhat outside his competence, and does include a sympathetic treatment of Cuba, other communist regimes globally are dismissed in a couple of pages. In fact Service is best on the growth of Communism before WWII - he is expert on the rise of the government in Russia, internal disagreements, the Second and Third International, Comintern, Communism in Europe etc. But after the war really all Service wants to do is rant about lack of freedoms, human rights abuses - and look these are things we know about already. The leaders of Eastern Europe are particularly scantily treated; we know they were under the thrall of Moscow but there must be something more to say about them than that? So a good half a book but it didn't add much to my knowledge of post war Communism… (more)
LibraryThing member xuebi
Out of Service's books on Communism, this is both his broadest and unfortunately, his weakest. The scope is impressive, particularly in the particulars of communism in lesser-known situations such as in Chile or during the Spanish Civil War. However, it often feels like the author is merely rushing over facts without much time for further analysis or in-depth study.… (more)

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