The collapse of communism was one of the most defining moments of the twentieth century. This Very Short Introduction examines the history behind the political, economic, and social structures of communism as an ideology.
Offering a practical and historical perspective on socialism this work explains the evolution of socialist ideas from the French Revolution, and examines why past attempts to implement socialism might have failed.
Peter Singer identifies the central vision that unifies Marx's thought, enabling us to grasp Marx's views as a whole. He explains alienation, historical materialism, the economic theory of Capital, and Marx's idea of communism, in plain English, and concludes with an assessment of Marx's legacy.
This Very Short Introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole—on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another. The book registers the primacy of politics, but situates political developments firmly in the context of massive economic, social, and cultural change. Since the fall of Communism there has been much reflection on the significance of the Russian Revolution. The book rejects the currently influential, liberal interpretation of the revolution in favour of one that sees it as rooted in the contradictions of a backward society which sought modernization and enlightenment and ended in political tyranny. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Corruption is one of the biggest issues facing the contemporary international community. This volume notes that corruption is as old as humanity itself, and then considers why the international community has only highlighted it as a problem in the past two decades. It explores the phenomenon from several different perspectives, from the cultural differences affecting how corruption is defined, its impact, its various causes, and the possible remedies.
This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.
Fascism is notoriously hard to define. In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Kevin Passmore unravels the paradoxes of one of the most important phenomena in the modern world, to make sense of its ideology and place in the modern world.
How, when, and why did the Cold War begin? Why did it last so long? What impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, what difference did it make to the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century? This clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation.
Examines the radical Chinese Communist movement called the Cultural Revolution, a period of suppression so controversial in China, that the Chinese government forbids a full investigation into it even 50 years later. Original.
China today is never out of the news: from human rights controversies and the continued legacy of Tiananmen Square, to global coverage of the Beijing Olympics, and the Chinese 'economic miracle'. It seems a country of contradictions: a peasant society with some of the world's most futuristic cities, heir to an ancient civilization that is still trying to find a modern identity. This Very Short Introduction offers the reader with no previous knowledge of China a variety of ways to understand the world's most populous nation, giving a short, integrated picture of modern Chinese society, culture, economy, politics and art. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.