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44 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that dares to challenge the stifling anti-communist Orthodoxy of Western academia., May 20, 2011
This review is from: Khrushchev Lied: The Evidence That Every "Revelation" of Stalin's (and Beria's) Crimes in Nikita Khrushchev's Infamous "Secret Speech" to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, is Provably False (Paperback)
I read the book cover to cover immediately after getting it. I know that because of what professor Furr dares to say, he will receive tremendous flack. Academic repression is the reality in this country; just ask people like Michael Parenti and Norman Finkelstein if you don't believe me. Indeed, professor Furr has already been the target of a right-wing smear campaign, for daring to arrive at conclusions, published in relatively obscure journals and academic discussion forums, that the powers that be find reprehensible. He is one of the 101 supposedly "Most Dangerous Academics in America" alive today, according to David Horrowitz's book "The Professors." It goes without saying, professor Furr will come under renewed attack by these same forces again for publishing this book.

That fact alone should make us pay very close attention to what professor Furr is trying to tell us. There are powerful people in this country who really, really don't want you to read what Furr has to say.

Furr's message is simple and relatively straight-forward. It is that everything we think we know about the history of communism, is almost all completely false. The dedicated student of Soviet history will immediately realize this isn't anything new to say. Giants in the field like J. Arch Getty have said the exact same things decades ago. While Getty's remarks were focused on the field in its entirety, Furr has been more willing to attack the sacred cows of anti-communist Orthodoxy more directly. This book is dedicated to deconstructing one of those sacred cows. It is one of the primary pieces of evidence that holds up the historical narrative about the Soviet Union we have all been taught since we were children: Khrushchev's "Secret Speech."

Those same careful students of history will also see that Furr almost goes overboard to help the reader see the evidence for themselves. Literally over half the book is nothing but direct quotations of primary sources, many sources made available to non-Russian readers for the first time. At times, this may make for difficult reading, but the reader is left with a much better understanding and confidence in Furr's thesis than if he wrote it any other way.

More to the point, even a very hostile reader of this book, that is honest with his or her self, will have to admit, that the evidence is in Furr's favor. Some of the falsehoods are just too widely known, such as Khrushchev's assertion that Stalin planned military operations on a globe. And if the truth was on the side of Khrushchev, why make up such a ridiculously and easily disprovable lie? If Khrushchev lies about something petty like this, can we really trust anything else he says, especially claims where we have no other evidence besides his word?

The real controversy here is not the scholarship of the book. People like Horowitz will look in vain for serious scholars that have the specialized knowledge to even credibly 'debunk' professor Furr. No, the real controversy here, is if what Furr is telling us is true, then we're going to have completely rethink what we believe we 'know' about the history of communism. People doing just that is truly what frightens men like Horowitz.
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