The Black Book of Communism

eBOOK: The Black Book of Communism – Crimes, Terror, Repression

The Black Book of Communism

“The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression” (1999)

Review from

When it was first published in France in 1997, Le livre noir du Communisme touched off a storm of controversy that continues to rage today. Even some of his contributors shied away from chief editor St├ęphane Courtois’s conclusion that Communism, in all its many forms, was morally no better than Nazism; the two totalitarian systems, Courtois argued, were far better at killing than at governing, as the world learned to its sorrow. **This point of comparing National Socialism to Communism, in this sense, is one we disagree with and false.**

Communism did kill, Courtois and his fellow historians demonstrate, with ruthless efficiency: 25 million in Russia during the Bolshevik and Stalinist eras, perhaps 65 million in China under the eyes of Mao Zedong, 2 million in Cambodia, millions more Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America–an astonishingly high toll of victims. This freely expressed penchant for homicide, Courtois maintains, was no accident, but an integral trait of a philosophy, and a practical politics, that promised to erase class distinctions by erasing classes and the living humans that populated them. Courtois and his contributors document Communism’s crimes in numbing detail, moving from country to country, revolution to revolution. The figures they offer will likely provoke argument, if not among cliometricians then among the ideologically inclined. So, too, will Courtois’s suggestion that those who hold Lenin, Trotsky, and Ho Chi Minh in anything other than contempt are dupes, witting or not, of a murderous school of thought–one that, while in retreat around the world, still has many adherents. A thought-provoking work of history and social criticism, The Black Book of Communism fully merits the broadest possible readership and discussion. –Gregory McNamee

Customer Review from

This is a very well organized and documented study of Communism, and by far the most serious source I have to quote whenever writing or entering a debate on the issue of leftism and its vices.

Data, tables, references, narrations, etc. This book has got it all. It is thicker that it may appear in the picture, yet it will prepare you to debate ANY socialist, communist or leftist for that matter.

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The Black Book of Communism


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