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Extended Audio Sample Communism, by Richard Pipes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (211 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Pipes Narrator: George K. Wilson Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Modern Library Chronicles Release Date:
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With astonishing authority and clarity, Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime’s scholarship into a single focused history of Communism, from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a practice.

At its heart, the book is a history of the Soviet Union, the most comprehensive reorganization of human society ever attempted by a nation-state. Drawing on much new information, Richard Pipes explains the country’s evolution from the 1917 revolution to the Great Terror and World War II, global expansion and the Cold War chess match with the United States, and the regime’s decline and ultimate collapse. There is no more dramatic story in modern history, nor one more crucial to master, than that of how the writing and agitation of two mid-nineteenth-century European thinkers named Marx and Engels led to a great and terrible world religion that brought down a mighty empire, consumed the world in conflict, and left in its wake a devastation whose full costs can only now be tabulated.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The publication of Richard Pipes’ Communism: A History…is of signal importance. One cannot put it down without realizing, once and for all, that the road to utopia is paved with the bodies of the innocent—and leads nowhere.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “In the name of great good, Communism has brought great evil…If you’ve wondered how your children and grandchildren are going to grasp this large and alien reality, a good move is to make sure they own this book.”

    Weekly Standard

  • “As a brief, polemical diatribe by one of its fiercest Western critics and historians, this short account of communism should provoke and instruct. For general and academic libraries.”

    Library Journal

  • “I wish every university student…would read this grim book.”

    Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alain Dewitt | 1/20/2014

    " Good quick read from one of America's foremost Russian historians. This book examines why Communism - in all it's earthly iterations - has been a dismal failure. Pipes explains why it is not the implementation but something inherent in the ideology which carries the seeds of its failure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Freddie williams | 1/19/2014

    " History, covers the history of the Soviet. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by sologdin | 1/7/2014

    " Worthless waste of space, this guy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mike | 11/27/2013

    " Excellent for basic understanding of Communism. "

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About the Author

Richard Pipes is a Polish-American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union. In 1976 he headed Team B, a team of analysts organized by the Central Intelligence Agency who analyzed the strategic capacities and goals of the Soviet military and political leadership.