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The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism


The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The impact of Communism on the twentieth century was massive, equal to that of the two world wars. Until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, historians knew relatively little about the secretive world of communist states and parties. Since then, the opening of state, party, and diplomatic archives of the former Eastern Bloc has released a flood of new documentation. The thirty-five essays in this Handbook, written by an international team of scholars, draw on this new material to offer a global history of communism in the twentieth century.

In contrast to many histories that concentrate on the Soviet Union, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism is genuinely global in its coverage, paying particular attention to the Chinese Revolution. It is 'global', too, in the sense that the essays seek to integrate history 'from above' and 'from below', to trace the complex mediations between state and society, and to explore the social and cultural as well as the political and economic realities that shaped the lives of citizens fated to live under communist rule. The essays reflect on the similarities and differences between communist states in order to situate them in their socio-political and cultural contexts and to capture their changing nature over time. Where appropriate, they also reflect on how the fortunes of international communism were shaped by the wider economic, political, and cultural forces of the capitalist world. The Handbook provides an informative introduction for those new to the field and a comprehensive overview of the current state of scholarship for those seeking to deepen their understanding.

About the Author

S. A. Smith is Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford. He was a graduate student at Moscow State University and Peking University in the late 1970s and early 1980s and taught for many years at the University of Essex. More recently, he was professor of comparative history at the European University Institute, Florence. He has written extensively on the Russian and Chinese Revolutions, and is currently writing a book which compares the efforts of the Soviet and Chinese Communist regimes to eliminate 'superstition' from daily life, in areas such as popular religion, calendrical and life-cycle rituals, agriculture, and folk medicine, and which explores how sections of the populace engaged the regimes through 'politics of the supernatural'.

Table of Contents

Towards a Global History of Communism, S. A. Smith


1. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels on Communism, Paresh Chattopadhyay

2. Lenin and Bolshevism, Lars T. Lih

3. Stalin and Stalinism, Kevin McDermott

4. Mao and Maoism, Timothy Cheek


5. 1919, Jean-Francois Fayet

6. 1936, Tim Rees

7. 1956, Sergei Radchenko

8. 1968, Maud Anne Bracke

9. 1989, Matthias Middell


10. The Comintern, Alexander Vatlin and S. A. Smith

11. Communism in Eastern, Central, and South-Eastern Europe, Pavel Kolar

12. Communism in China, Yang Kuisong and S. A. Smith

13. Communism in Southeast Asia, Anna Belogurova

14. Communism in Latin America, Mike Gonzalez

15. Communism in the Islamic World, Anne Alexander

16. Communism in Africa, Allison Drew


17. Political and Economic Relations between Communist States, Balazs Szalontai

18. Communism and the Peace Movement, Geoff Roberts

19. Rituals of Power, Daniel Leese

20. Communism and Political Terror, Julia Strauss

21. Popular Opinion under Communist Regimes, Sheila Fitzpatrick

22. Communism and Economic Modernization, Mark Harrison

23. Collectivization and Famine, Felix Wemheuer

24. Consumption in Communist Societies, Paul Betts


25. The Life of a Communist Militant, Marco Albeltaro

26. Rural Lives in Communist Societies, Jeremy Brown

27. Industrial Work in Communist Societies, Tuong Vu

28. Women in Communist Societies, Donna Harsch

29. Privilege and Inequality in Communist Societies, Don Filtzer

30. Nation-Building and National Conflict in Communist Societies, Adrienne Lynn Edgar


31. Socialist Cultural Production, Richard King

32. Communism and the Artistic Intelligentsia, Mark Gamsa

33. Communism and Popular Culture, Dean Vuletic

34. Communism and Religion, Richard Madsen

35. Communism and Sport, Robert Edelman, Anke Hilbrenner, and Susan Brownell

Product Details

Smith, Stephen A.
Oxford University Press, USA
Smith, S. A.
Russia (pre & post Soviet Union)
History, World | Russia & Former Soviet Union
Russia-General Russian History
Publication Date:
1 black and white illustration
7 x 9.8 x 1.8 in 2.906 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Professional Medical Reference
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Leftist Studies
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Russia » Post Soviet Republics
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
History and Social Science » World History » General

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