THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM. CRIMES, TERROR, REPRESSION. STÉPHANE COURTOIS. LONDON 1999

A few comments on The Black Book of Communism gathered from international reviews and media.

An 800-page book of the crimes of Communist regimes worldwide, recorded and analyzed in detail by a team of scholars. The facts and figures, some of them well known, others newly confirmed in hitherto inaccessible archives, are irrefutable.

The myth of the well-intentioned founders – the good czar Lenin betrayed by his evil heir Stalin -has been laid to rest for good. No one will any longer be able to claim ignorance or uncertainty about the criminal nature of Communism, and those who had begun to forget will be forced to remember anew.

When The Black Book of Communism appeared in Europe in 1997 detailing communism’s crimes, it created a furor. Scrupulously documented and soberly written by several historians, it is a masterful work. It is, in fact, a reckoning.

The Black Book of Communism is an extraordinary and almost unspeakably chilling book. It is a major study that deepens our understanding of communism and poses a philosophical and political challenge that cannot be ignored. The book’s central argument, copiously documented and repeated in upwards of a dozen different essays, is that the history of communism should be read above all as the history of an all-out assault on society by a series of conspiratorial cliques led by cruel dictators (Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim II Sung, Pol Pot, and dozens of imitators) who were murderously drunk on their own ideology and power…

Courtois and his collaborators have performed a signal service by gathering in one volume a global history of communism’s crimes from the Soviet Union to China, from the satellite countries of Eastern-Europe to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and North Korea, and to a lesser degree in Latin America and Africa.

The Black Book is enormously impressive and utterly convincing. To the extent that the book has a literary style, it is that of the recording angel; this is the body count of a colossal, wholly failed social, economic, political and psychological experiment. It is a criminal indictment, and it rightly reads like one.

Most sensible adults are aware of communism’s human toll in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, the forced starvations in the Ukraine, the Great Purge of the 1930s, the Gulag, the insanity of China’s Great Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s murder of one in every seven Cambodians, Fidel Castro’s firing squads and prisons. All these horrors are now brought together in what the French scholar Martin Mali, in his foreword, calls a ‘balance sheet of our current knowledge of communism’s human costs.

That The Black Book infuriated the French left is a sure mark of its intrinsic worth. The Black Book is a groundbreaking effort by a group of French scholars to document the human costs of Communism in the 20th century. Its publication caused a sensation in France when it was first released in 1997, but Americans were not able to see for themselves what the furor was all about until October 1999, when Harvard University Press finally released an English translation. It was worth the wait. Taking advantage of many newly available archives in former Communist states, the authors (many of them former Communists themselves) have meticulously recorded the crimes, terror and repression inflicted by Communist regimes across the world. It is a powerful work.

Ett svar to “THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM. CRIMES, TERROR, REPRESSION. STÉPHANE COURTOIS. LONDON 1999”

  1. Website Says:

    website

    THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM. CRIMES, TERROR, REPRESSION. STÉPHANE COURTOIS. LONDON 1999 | lennart waaras blogg

Lämna ett svar till Website Avbryt svar

Fyll i dina uppgifter nedan eller klicka på en ikon för att logga in:

WordPress.com Logo

Du kommenterar med ditt WordPress.com-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )

Google-foto

Du kommenterar med ditt Google-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )

Twitter-bild

Du kommenterar med ditt Twitter-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )

Facebook-foto

Du kommenterar med ditt Facebook-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )

Ansluter till %s


%d bloggare gillar detta: