The Red Flag: A History of Communism by David Priestland

By David Priestland

Communism was once probably the most robust political and highbrow pursuits the area has ever visible. on the top in their impact, Communists managed greater than a 3rd of the earth’s floor. yet possibly extra stunning than its fast upward push and outstanding achieve used to be Communism’s surprising, devastating cave in in November of 1989. In The pink Flag, Oxford professor David Priestland tells the epic tale of a circulation that has taken root in dozens of nations throughout 200 years, from its delivery after the French Revolution to its ideological adulthood in nineteenth-century Germany to its upward thrust to dominance (and next fall) within the 20th century. starting with the 1st glossy Communists within the age of Robespierre, Priestland examines the factors of thinkers and leaders together with Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Che Guevara, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gorbachev, and so forth. He additionally explores the event of what it intended to stay below Communism for its thousands of matters. At a time while worldwide capitalism is in obstacle and strong new political forces have arisen to confront Western democracy, The pink Flag is vital interpreting if we're to use the teachings of the prior to navigating the future.

“The most sensible and the main available one-volume historical past of communism now to be had . . . A far-reaching, vividly written account.” —Foreign Affairs

"Written in full of life prose, it is a wealthy, gratifying account of the main winning utopian political stream in history." —Publishers Weekly

“Hugely bold and boldly completed, The purple Flag explores the roots, perversions, and manifold highbrow and geographic advancements of the main dynamic and disruptive political flow of recent occasions, and David Priestland’s compelling narrative explains how even in discredit and defeat it accomplished a paradoxical luck through forcing severe reforms within the ranks of its capitalist foes.” —Martin Walker, writer of The chilly battle: A History

“David Priestland bargains a powerful account of the increase and fall of Communism within the 20th century on a world scale. He combines penetrating research with a powerful feel of historic improvement, offering continuously sharp and unique insights. He writes in a classy and interesting model and in a spirit that's empathetic but continuously severe. using cultural heritage is mainly cutting edge and offers the reader with a bright feel of daily life in Communist societies. Altogether it is a awesome publication that demanding situations stale and stereotypical methods of pondering the failed Communist experiment.” —Steve Smith, professor of historical past at eu college Institute and writer of Revolution and the folks in Russia and China

“In position of demonologies and apologies, The purple Flag is a true heritage of recent Communism from the start to the current. it truly is a unprecedented tale instructed with sympathy and with an incisive use of important aspect. this can be a paintings of ambitious scholarship but additionally a really readable ebook. David Priestland makes a striking use of novels, performs, and movies to deliver to lifestyles the occasions he describes and the states of brain that encouraged them.” —Gareth Stedman Jones, professor of political technology on the collage of Cambridge

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By David Priestland

Communism was once probably the most robust political and highbrow pursuits the area has ever visible. on the top in their impact, Communists managed greater than a 3rd of the earth’s floor. yet possibly extra stunning than its fast upward push and outstanding achieve used to be Communism’s surprising, devastating cave in in November of 1989. In The pink Flag, Oxford professor David Priestland tells the epic tale of a circulation that has taken root in dozens of nations throughout 200 years, from its delivery after the French Revolution to its ideological adulthood in nineteenth-century Germany to its upward thrust to dominance (and next fall) within the 20th century. starting with the 1st glossy Communists within the age of Robespierre, Priestland examines the factors of thinkers and leaders together with Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Che Guevara, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gorbachev, and so forth. He additionally explores the event of what it intended to stay below Communism for its thousands of matters. At a time while worldwide capitalism is in obstacle and strong new political forces have arisen to confront Western democracy, The pink Flag is vital interpreting if we're to use the teachings of the prior to navigating the future.

“The most sensible and the main available one-volume historical past of communism now to be had . . . A far-reaching, vividly written account.” —Foreign Affairs

"Written in full of life prose, it is a wealthy, gratifying account of the main winning utopian political stream in history." —Publishers Weekly

“Hugely bold and boldly completed, The purple Flag explores the roots, perversions, and manifold highbrow and geographic advancements of the main dynamic and disruptive political flow of recent occasions, and David Priestland’s compelling narrative explains how even in discredit and defeat it accomplished a paradoxical luck through forcing severe reforms within the ranks of its capitalist foes.” —Martin Walker, writer of The chilly battle: A History

“David Priestland bargains a powerful account of the increase and fall of Communism within the 20th century on a world scale. He combines penetrating research with a powerful feel of historic improvement, offering continuously sharp and unique insights. He writes in a classy and interesting model and in a spirit that's empathetic but continuously severe. using cultural heritage is mainly cutting edge and offers the reader with a bright feel of daily life in Communist societies. Altogether it is a awesome publication that demanding situations stale and stereotypical methods of pondering the failed Communist experiment.” —Steve Smith, professor of historical past at eu college Institute and writer of Revolution and the folks in Russia and China

“In position of demonologies and apologies, The purple Flag is a true heritage of recent Communism from the start to the current. it truly is a unprecedented tale instructed with sympathy and with an incisive use of important aspect. this can be a paintings of ambitious scholarship but additionally a really readable ebook. David Priestland makes a striking use of novels, performs, and movies to deliver to lifestyles the occasions he describes and the states of brain that encouraged them.” —Gareth Stedman Jones, professor of political technology on the collage of Cambridge

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Additional info for The Red Flag: A History of Communism

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When the Afghan left, Bogdanov asked Tarun whether he agreed with the accusations. Tarun agreed and said he also believed the plot included his own murder. ” “Whoever lives well today wants to live better tomorrow,” Tarun replied. Bogdanov was a little shaken. ” he asked. “It’s a very serious accusation. ” “Of course. Because I support Amin. ” Bogdanov could scarcely believe Taraki’s closest personal assistant could be Amin’s agent. Suppressing his surprise, he asked Tarun what he thought of the Afghan president.

Alexander Liakhovskii archive) ministers worried the rumors they were conveying to Taraki about Amin plotting to seize power weren’t taken with the necessary seriousness. Entreaties to rein in his independent activities left Amin unmoved. Amin saw an opportunity in September 1979, when Cuba was due to host a summit conference of nonaligned countries. On the urging of the four ministers, Taraki ordered Amin to represent Afghanistan. But the prime minister outmaneuvered them by arguing that only the leader of the “revolutionary East”—Taraki—could properly represent its interests.

One of Sarwari’s loyal adjutants, Mohammed Qulassem, ordered the deputy, who actually served Amin, to leave. When he refused, the adjutant shot and killed him. Amin’s men returned fire and killed Qulassem. Nevertheless, Taraki still refused to take steps that would prevent Amin from carrying out a coup. When the four ministers urged him to announce Amin’s intentions to the Politburo and on radio and television, Taraki again balked. “I don’t want to swat any flies for my own sake,” he said. “Amin is the party’s problem and the Politburo’s.

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