The Red Flag: A History of Communism

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9780713994810: The Red Flag: A History of Communism
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Communism was one of the most powerful political and intellectual movements of the modern world; at the height of its influence over a third of the worlds population lived under communist rule and yet very few predicted either its bewildering rise or sudden decline, while even close observers were mystified by its frequent convulsions and turbulent politics in the red flag, david priestland provides an original account of the communist movement that fully explores its global impact he not only discusses the ideas and motivations of its principal thinkers and leaders - from marx to mao, from stalin to che guevara, but also asks why communism inspired its rank and file - from the militants of 1920s russia and the guerrilla fighters of china to the marxist students of ethiopia and the urban terrorists of europe in the 1970s at same the time the red flag explores the experience of living under communism for its millions of subjects in his lively and absorbing narrative priestland stresses how varied a phenomenon communism was he traces its emergence in the aftermath of the french revolution, and shows how those early ideas evolved and mutated as they moved across time and place, from the barricades of europe in 1848 to the villages of nepal today as priestland shows, communists may have promised to build just and modern societies, but just as they destroyed old structures of privilege, they simultaneously built new ones this central paradox, together with economic failure and a history of horrifying violence would, by the 1980s, leave the communist project in tatters even so, communist parties are still in power in asia and latin america and, as priestland emphasizes, communism has played a central role in the history of the modern world - not only through its militaristic political systems, but also its broader influence on ideas and culture

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About the Author:

David Priestland has studied Communism in all its forms for many years, in both Oxford and Moscow State Universities. He is University Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford and a Fellow of St. Edmund Hall, and the author of Stalinism and the Politics of Mobilization. The Red Flag was shortlisted for the Longman/History Today prize.

Review:

Hugely ambitious and boldly achieved, The Red Flag explores the roots, perversions, and manifold intellectual and geographic developments of the most dynamic and disruptive political movement of modern times, and David Priestland's compelling narrative explains how even in discredit and defeat it achieved a paradoxical success by forcing critical reforms in the ranks of its capitalist foes. -- Martin Walker, author of 'The Cold War: A History' A mesmerizing survey of the ideological and political history of communism. Priestland successfully crafts a global account of communism's development and mutation across nations and generations, deftly combining academic rigour, personal histories and an engaging narrative. -- Tristram Hunt

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780140295207: The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World. David Priestland

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ISBN 10:  0140295208 ISBN 13:  9780140295207
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2010
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David Priestland
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