In addition to writing "Robert Conquest did not write 'The Black Book of Communism" I decided to share this info. w/ you. Once again, 'Mercy BooKoo'.
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 Stéphane 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.
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.
The New York Times Book Review, Alan Ryan
To the extent that the book has a literary style, it is that of the recording angel.... It is
a criminal indictment, and it rightly reads like one. read more
The Wall Street Journal, October 25, 1999
. . .Scrupulously documented and soberly written by several historians, [this] is a
masterful work. It is, in fact, a reckoning. With this translation. . .English-language
readers may now see for themselves what all the commotion was about. . .[The
Black Book of Communism] superbly illuminates the shocking record of communist
regimes and their Western votaries. read more
From Booklist , September 1, 1999
Tabulators of the Red Terror from its inception in 1918 down to its vestigial
continuation in such countries as North Korea and Cuba, the authors instigated an
intellectual ruckus in France, a curious reception for this dry ledger of death. It was
not, apparently, the recitation of killings that irked the left in France but Courtois'
condemnation of Leninist regimes as criminal enterprises. That stance challenged the
left's deeply seated tenets that communism, despite excesses, was progressive;...
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Reviewer: Andy from San Francisco January 13, 2000
When The Black Book of Communism was the rage in France (one of the top
public discussions), I went to Amazon for the first time. The BIG bookstore had no
trace of one of Europe's hottest topics. I don't know if it's because they don't stock
French language books (doubt it). However, a search of pro-Communist titles
revealed a well-stocked store. Strange, for a capitalistic company operating in the
U.S. It's nice to see that Amazon has decided to introduce at least one title with a
view of communism that is out of fashion with Americans. How nice it must be to be
French and discuss the truth - publicly. Could it be that those who have lived the
communist horror are not as enamored with the system as the elites of the U.S.
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An oasis in the desert of "progressive" nonsense
Reviewer: Marxist Exterminator from Dallas, Texas January 3,
The depth of this tome has already been illustrated by other reviewers. I find no
need to go deeper. However, the fact that there is an absence of leftist knee-jerk
reactions to this book further illustrates this book's power.
7 of 9 people found this review
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Mind-numbing accounts of terror
Reviewer: Bradley Ems from St. Louis December 17, 1999
I rated this book at 5 stars, but it's hard to say that I enjoyed it. I was most troubled
by the fact that after a while, the numbers seemed to become detached from
flesh-and-blood human beings. Maybe Stalin was right when he said that one death
is a tragedy but a million deaths is a statistic.
All that aside, this is an indispensible book for anyone who had doubts about
communism's invariable consequences. Across every era, culture and region the
result was always the same: terror, murder, repression, poverty and stagnation. Its
supporters even today suggest that communism will lead us to the promised land,
but there's little delivery on the promises it's already made.
Jane Fonda said that if we really knew what communism was, we'd be on our knees
begging for it. Well, I think that if Jane reads this tome, she'll realize that most of the
folks who were on their knees in China, the USSR, North Korea, etc. were there to
get a slug in the medula oblongata, not to give thanks for their situation.
The time for apologists of collectivism to be summarily dismissed from serious
political discussion. From Nazism and fascism to Communism and "the Third Way",
it's all been a repeat of the same dismal and brutal failure. The great secret is that
liberty works. It's time for our elites to realize it.
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Good for academic use, if academia will accept it
Reviewer: the_sanity_inspector from USA November 30, 1999
First, understand that this is not a popular or literary work, but an accounting ledger
of the casualties of 20th century communism. Once you understand that this is not
_Darkness At Noon_ or _Dr. Zhivago_, you can accept it and its horrifyingly high
numbers as intended. The authors have taken advantage of the opened KGB
archives to track down the details of hundreds of repressions and atrocities
committed by the Soviet power in the name of their ideology. They do the same for
other communist regimes like Cuba and China without the benefit of archival
materials. The fact that they still have to round the death tolls to the nearest thousand
in many cases firmly makes the authors' controversial point: Communism is the most
murderous idea ever devised. One of the authors asserts that communism is not one
whit a lesser evil than nazism. It lasted longer, immiserated and killed more people,
and had more friends in influential western institutions, no matter that the repressions
and killings were class-based rather than race-based. The book has two generous
photo-inserts, to make the text's point more immediately. The arrival of this book,
along with _Venona_, _The Haunted Wood_, and _The Shield and The Sword_,
gives heartening evidence that the murderous truth about the Communist era may
finally seep into the general consciousness, if not yet into the politically correct
recesses of tenured radicaldom. Here are the facts--hereafter, ignorance about
communism is strictly voluntary.
McSpotlight: It's 'little black book' time again; please form an orderly queue...