The Evolution of Communism

The Evolution of Communism : People, Parties and States in the Twentieth Century

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This work aims to form a synthesis from the specialist literatures on twentieth century communism. Organized thematically, it discusses: the formative phases of Lenin's Bolshevik party and of subsequent communist parties; communism's spread, and its differing routes to power; the bases of communist parties' independence, and the deep divisions which have fractured world communism; the great variety of communisms and communists; the evolution of communist ideas and theories; the social character of communist states; communist crises and efforts at self-renewal. The book focuses on the variable, adaptive character of communist party organization, with its capacity to apply flexible policies and exploit widely different bases of support, and explores the connections between communism's methods when in quest of power and the distinctive character of communist states. Linking the mechanisms of communist rule to the structure of communist societies, it examines the long history of communist attempts at self-reform, culminating in the transformations now being overseen by Gorbachev in the Soviet bloc and Deng Xiaoping in China. "The Evolution of Communism" is intended for students of international relations, Soviet studies, world politics, political economy and sociology. In addition, the book will be of interest to all those concerned with the nature and future of one of the most influential and powerful political forces of our times.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • bibliography, chronology, glossary, index
  • 0745602215
  • 9780745602219

Table of contents

Part 1 Communism's formative phases: origins of Leninism; splitting the masses from the leaders; united fronts; Asian communism. Part 2 Communism spreads and divides; means and ends in communist politics; the takeovers in Eastern Europe; differing routes to communist Power; Soviet hegemony; bases of independence among communist parties; Part 3 Ideas, theories and doctrines: The Marxism of the unready; Marxism comes to grips with power; Western Marxism. Part 4 Communist societies: communist societies - their contexts and problems; crises of communist states.show more

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