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A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism
Edited by Silvio Pons & Robert Service

One of Library Journal's Best Reference Books, Law & Politics Category for 2010

Paperback | 2012 | $59.95 / £44.95 | ISBN: 9780691154299
960 pp. | 8 x 10
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The first book of its kind to appear since the end of the Cold War, this indispensable reference provides encyclopedic coverage of communism and its impact throughout the world in the 20th century. With the opening of archives in former communist states, scholars have found new material that has expanded and sometimes altered the understanding of communism as an ideological and political force. A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism brings this scholarship to students, teachers, and scholars in related fields. In more than 400 concise entries, the book explains what communism was, the forms it took, and the enormous role it played in world history from the Russian Revolution through the collapse of the Soviet Union and beyond.

  • Examines the political, intellectual, and social influences of communism around the globe
  • Features contributions from an international team of 160 scholars
  • Includes more than 400 entries on major topics, such as:
    • Figures: Lenin, Mao, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Castro, Gorbachev
    • Events: Cold War, Prague Spring, Cultural Revolution, Sandinista Revolution
    • Ideas and concepts: Marxism-Leninism, cult of personality, labor
    • Organizations and movements: KGB, Comintern, Gulag, Khmer Rouge
    • Related topics: totalitarianism, nationalism, antifascism, anticommunism, McCarthyism
  • Guides readers to further research through bibliographies, cross-references, and an index

Silvio Pons is professor of eastern European history at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and director of the Gramsci Institute Foundation in Rome. His books include The Soviet Union and Europe in the Cold War, 1943-1953 and Stalin and the Inevitable War, 1936-1941. Robert Service teaches Russian history at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Comrades! A History of World Communism and A History of Twentieth-Century Russia, as well as biographies of Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky.


"Highly accessible, essay-style entries on the concepts, figures, events, movements, and organizations associated with international modern and postmodern Communist politics. . . . Each entry concludes a list of at least five further reading titles, offering researchers a springboard to subject-specific information."--Savanna Schroll Guz, Library Journal

"Access to archives in the former Soviet Union and its satellites behind the iron curtain has enabled the 160 scholars who contributed articles to this compendium to present information formerly out of the reach of all but a few in those countries. . . . No other comparable, current source covers twentieth-century communism in similar topical fashion. Recommended for academic and large public libraries."--James Rettig, Booklist

"[I]ncludes some truly insightful profiles of key figures. . . . [A] work well worth reading."--Irving Louis Horowitz, Wilson Quarterly

"An ideologically and internationally diverse lot of contributors manage to keep the tone analytical and critical throughout, making this an insightful and essential reference for 20th-century studies."--George M. Eberhart, College & Research Libraries News

"All the major names and events are covered, and an impressive variety of concepts or objects receive serious attention, too. . . . [T]he high quality of the prose, the distinguished community of authors, and the imaginative variety of topics covered will make this a worthwhile reference."--Padraic Kenney, H-Net Reviews

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Table of Contents:

Introduction vii
Acknowledgments xiii
List of Entries xv
List of Contributors xxvii
Acronyms and Abbreviations xxxiii
Entries 1
Index 895

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