Monday, December 26, 2011
A short review for Robert Service: Comrades a History of World Communism.
This is going to be a very short review because I want to issue a warning to someone wanting to buy this book more so than give an overview and opinion.
Usually it is easy to tell when a book is going to be overwhelmingly biased. When I was reading the back of this book and the reviews online I didn't get the feeling that Robert Service was an anti-communist (specially seeing as he has written biographies about Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin). In fact from reviews online he seemed to write fairly. Upon reading this book I now feel like I was ripped off by the book store.
The book is very much filled with personal opinions written as truths and the writer even degrades to name calling towards soviet supporters from the 30's and 40's. One point in the book he claims that a reporter was duped by the soviets when the reporter visited a labor camp. He claims the reporter visiting the labor camp wrote positively about the USSR because when he went to a labor camp the local soviet government replaced the labor workers with guards so they appeared well fed and that rehabilitation was working and that the laborers were in good conditions. And his source for this assertion? It isn't a document ordering guards to act as laborers or anything official what so ever. No, he sources the reporters positive letter as a source. The book is filled with false sources like this through out.
The book is also filled with baseless assertions such as claiming that Marxism is dead and communism is dead. As though Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, While perverted types of socialism there is also NK and China, Venezuela and Bolivia, Uruguay just elected an ex-guerrilla just don't exist. These type of false statements are made through out. It is hard to believe he has read anything that was not written by McCarthy himself by his writing style. Whats more upsetting is that I already bought his Stalin Biography. Guess that is money and time I will never get back.
Written by: Dustin Slagle