“Ranging wisely and lucidly across the decades and around the world, this is a splendid book.” (William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era)
“This book requires and deserves space on all important book shelves for decades to come.” (Gary Hart, United States Senator (Ret.))
“[Brown’s] account is studded with delightfully pertinent and pithy personal observations and anecdotes...It is easy to be polemical about communism. Mr. Brown strives to be fair-minded...As a single-volume account of mankind’s biggest mistake, Mr. Brown’s book is hard to beat.” (The Economist)
“A sweeping, engrossing history. . . . Brown does a fine job of describing the social and political conditions that led people to embrace communism. And how, when the charms of the system wore off, these people found themselves ensnared by a totalitarianism that gave them no way to opt out.” (Dallas Morning News)
“Historical writing and political analysis of the highest order.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“A riveting and magisterial work.” (Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution and author of THE GREAT EXPERIMENT)
“For decades this volume will remain a definitive study of communism.” (Literary Review (UK))
“Readable and judicious...both controversial and commonsensical…‘The Rise and Fall of Communism’ is a work of considerable delicacy and nuance.” (Salon.com)
“Condensed with information that is both well-researched and well-placed within textbook history, [Brown’s] book is a rewarding read. It is an important book for the timea sober reflection on the physical, objective results of ideological thought.” (Sacramento Book Review)
“Consistently superb” (Dwight Garner, New York Times)
“Archie Brown’s The Rise and Fall of Communsm is a rare thing, meticulously researched history that is immensely readable and, even better, a disinterested overview of the most deeply divisive topic of the past 100 years that has been highly praised by critics on the Right and Left”. (Australian Nonfiction Books of the Year)
From the Back Cover
From the internationally acclaimed Oxford authority on Communism comes a definitive history that examines the origins of the ideology, its development in different nations, its collapse in many of those countries following perestroika, and its current incarnations around the globe. The Rise and Fall of Communism explores how and why Communists came to power; how they were able, in a variety of countries on different continents, to hold on to power for so long; and what brought about the downfall of so many Communist systems.
For this comprehensive and illuminating work, Brown draws on more than forty years of research and on a wealth of new sources. Tracing the story of Communism from its nineteenth-century roots, Brown explains both its expansion and its decline in the twentieth century. Even today, although Communism has been widely discredited in the West, more than a fifth of humanity still lives under its rule.