With astonishing authority and clarity, Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime’s scholarship into a single focused history of Communism, from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a practice. At its heart, the book is a history of the Soviet Union, the most comprehensive reorganization of human society ever attempted by a nation-state. This is the story of how the agitation of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, two mid-nineteenth-century European thinkers and writers, led to a great and terrible world religion that brought down a mighty empire, consumed the world in conflict, and left in its wake a devastation whose full costs can only now be tabulated.
About the Author
Richard Pipes, Baird Professor of History, Emeritus, at Harvard University, is the author of numerous books and essays, including The Russian Revolution, Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, and Property and Freedom. In 1981–82 he served as the Director of East European and Soviet Affairs on the National Security Council, and in 1992 he was an expert witness in the Russian Constitutional Court’s trial against the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Chesham, New Hampshire.
“In the name of great good, Communism has brought great evil. . . . If you’ve wondered how your children and grandchildren are going to grasp this large and alien reality, a good move is to make sure they own this book.” —The Weekly Standard
“The publication of Richard Pipes’ Communism: A History . . . is of signal importance. One cannot put it down without realizing, once and for all, that the road to utopia is paved with the bodies of the innocent—and leads nowhere.” —Baltimore Sun
“I wish every university student . . . would read this grim book.” —Paul Johnson