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Why did communism grow so quickly? Why did it spread to turn almost half of the world red by the mid-1970s? What impact did it have upon capitalism and capitalist society?
Communism is a concise introduction to one of the most important and influential movements of the 20th century. It shows how the modern communist movement emerged out of radical millenarian movements of the Middle Ages and the English Civil War, becoming a mass movement of industrial society, seeking to overturn capitalism and replace it with a society of equality, justice, harmony and co-operation. It traces the growth of modern communism from its beginnings in the early nineteenth century to its position of global power at the end of the Second World War.
Mark Sandle investigates the ultimate failure of communism as a political ideology, and concludes by asking how far the historical record of communism has been used to conceal the historical record of capitalism.
Ideal for courses in both History and Politics.
PART ONE: ANALYSIS
1. A Short Introduction
1.1: What is Communism?
1.2: Communism: The Early Years
2. The Rise of Modern Communism
2.2 The Emergence of Communism and Socialism after 1789
2.3 1848: Revolution and the Communist Manifesto
2.4 Marx and Engels on socialism and communism
2.5 The Evolution of the Communist Movement 1850 - 1915
2.6 Conclusion: Communism Before Power
3. Communism in the USSR: The Early Years 1917-53
3.2 The Bolshevik Understanding of Communism
3.3 Exporting Communism: Comintern and the Third International
3.4 Building Communism: Politics, Economics, Society in the USSR 1917 - 53
4. The Rise of Global Communism 1945 82
4.2 Communisms in Eastern Europe
4.3 Red Star in The East: China
4.4 Communism in Asia: Nationalism, Communism and Anti-colonialism
4.5 Cuba and Latin America
4.7 Communism in the Developed World
4.8 Conclusion: Communism Across the Globe 1945 - 1982
5. Living Under/With/For Communism
5.1 Ideology/Reality Gap
5.2 Material Life
5.6 Fertility and Contraception
5.8 Equality and Inequality
5.9 Education, Upbringing, Spirituality
5.11 Living between dissent and support: the conditional loyalty of communist citizens
6. The Decline and Fall Communism
6.2 The Crisis of Faith 1953-91
6.3 The Crisis of the Communist System 1953 1991
6.4 The End is Nigh!
7.1 Reflection One: Why did communism fall/collapse/was overthrown? Mind the Gap!
7.2 Reflection Two: How will history judge communism?
7.3 Reflection Three: The Future of Communism?
PART TWO: Documents
- Documents section provides important primary source material, including images
- Useful Glossary, Chronology and Who's Who sections for students new to the topic
- Extensive Bibliography and Further Reading sections
- The text has a global perspective.
Mark Sandle is Professor of History at The King's University College, Canada. His previous publications include A Short History of Soviet Socialism (1999) and Brezhnev Reconsidered (2002) and Gorbachev (2008).
"By looking at radical millenarian movements of the Middle Ages and the English Civil War, Mark Sandle explains how communism became a mass movement seeking to overturn capitalism and replace it with a society of equality, justice, harmony and cooperation."
- Times Higher Education
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