Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

What Was Communism?

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Russian History

Communism dominated the political history of the 20th century. Yet it remains an enigmatic force: how could a philosophy of universal liberation turn so quickly into an engine of oppression? How was it possible for a rag-tag movement of street protests and café conspirators to seize command of the Russian state, turn it into a military superpower, and spread revolution to other lands? Communism exemplified the pernicious role of ideology in modern mass society. Both the sudden rise of communism in the early 1900s, and its equally abrupt collapse in the 1980s, caught observers by surprise and confounded academic conventions. The three books under review here, written by distinguished British specialists on Soviet history, successfully convey the international sweep and complexity of the Communist phenomenon. While the focus is on the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, the authors also cover the spread of Communism to China, Africa and elsewhere, and its blunting in Western Europe. The impact of Communist thinking on the arts is also explored, especially by David Priestland. But the debate over the driving forces behind communism's initial success and ultimate failure will continue for years to come.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Russian History — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation