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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Rethinking Soviet Communism

ISBN 9780230507869
Publication Date March 2015
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Rethinking World Politics

The Soviet Union and the communist ideology on which it was founded were central to a great number of people's lives and pivotal to international relations for decades, most clearly in giving rise to the Cold War. Soviet Communism provided an alternative path forward, set apart from liberal capitalism and also from the various strands of fascism that took root in the early twentieth century, and its legacy can still be felt across the contemporary globe.

This innovative analysis of Soviet Communism offers a fresh perspective on the Soviet Union's role in world politics by paying particular attention to the influence of Soviet ideology and the balance of power on different regions of the world, including the West, the Third World, and the East European Soviet bloc. A central theme of the book is the diverse effects nationalism had on the Soviet Union, which the author argues not only played an important and often overlooked part in shaping Bolshevik policy but also contributed to the demise of Soviet Communism and the collapse of the USSR.

Peter Shearman is Senior Fellow at the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.

1. Introduction
2. The October Revolution, and the Rise and Demise of Soviet Communism
3. Soviet Ideology and Theories of Soviet Communism
4. Soviet Communism and the International Communist Movement
5. Soviet Communism and the Third World
6. Soviet Communism and the West
7. Soviet Communism and the National Question
8. Soviet Communism and International Security
9. Conclusions.


[C]omprehensively documented, conceptually bold and persuasively argued… [it] succeeds in grasping the many intricacies and ramifications of the Soviet Union as a political, economic, social and cultural configuration … In this morally intelligent book, Shearman succeeds admirably in explaining how Leninism's originally heroic ethos turned into an abysmally mendacious justification for appalling mass crimes.' – Vladimir Tismaneanu, International Affairs
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