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European Communism : 1848-1991 - Ronald I. Kowalski

European Communism

1848-1991

Paperback

Published: 13th April 2006
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The course of modern European History has been influenced greatly by the challenge of Communism. In theory it promised equality and freedom for all. In practice it spawned inegalitarian, authoritarian and, in some instances, monstrous regimes in the former Soviet Union and East Europe.

This study re-examines the history of European Communism from its theoretical origins in the work of Marx and Engels in the mid-nineteenth century until the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ronald Kowalski reappraises Marx's thinking and points out that his intellectual legacy was open to a variety of interpretations often at odds with his own views. Kowalski also questions Lenin's professed Marxist credentials and the extent to which his additions to Marxist theory were central to the key issue in the history of Communism: why did the egalitarian and libertarian dreams raised by the Russian Revolution degenerate into Stalinist authoritarianism and terror? Furthermore, why did Communism fail in West Europe while it was able to come to power in East Europe?

Concluding with an analysis of the revolutions which swept away the Communist regimes in East Europe and two years later in the Soviet Union itself, this is an essential introduction to the history of a political force that dominated parts of Europe until the end of the twentieth century.

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
Theoretical Foundations
The 'Founding Fathers'p. 11
The Parting of the Ways
German Social Democracyp. 37
Russian Marxismp. 59
War and Revolutionp. 81
Communism in the Soviet Union
The Rise of Stalinismp. 103
Late Stalinism to Gorbachevp. 127
Communism in Europe
Communism in West Europe since the First World Warp. 151
Communism in East Europep. 171
Disintegration
The Collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and East Europep. 203
Conclusionp. 224
The Disintegration of the Soviet Unionp. 229
The Collapse of Communism in East Europep. 231
Notesp. 234
Select Bibliographyp. 251
Indexp. 258
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780333684597
ISBN-10: 0333684591
Series: European History in Perspective
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 13th April 2006
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 21.7
Edition Number: 1