Wednesday, April 14, 2010

short book review

The Red Flag: A history of Communism

I imagine (in part because it was published in 2009) that this is one of the more complete surveys of the communist movement available, in that in covers a lot of territory. It is not particularly challenging, which is useful for someone hoping to gain a sort of "101" understanding of certain movements (for example, I knew very little about Pol Pot and about certain 1970's and 1980's African communist movements). However, it does not go intro great depth, and I found it almost useless when covering topics that I was more familiar with (French Revolution, Marx, USSR). It also has very little to say about theory.

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to become more fluent in the history of communist movements, or to gain a more thorough understanding of the role of communism in particular times and places. For someone with a reasonably developed understanding of the topic, this book is a fine reference, but the reader may grow weary.

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