Oleg Gordievsky

Anatomy of a Nightmare

The Rise and Fall of Communism

By

The Bodley Head 736pp £25 order from our bookshop

This book is the crowning achievement of Archie Brown’s career. It is a history of communism from the middle of the nineteenth century until the present day. I have to admire this gigantic achievement, based on innumerable Russian and other sources and with a generous list of acknowledgements to other experts on the subject. Although the author does not reveal any truly important facts – about Russia, the rest of Europe, East Asia and Cuba – that were previously unknown to any well-educated reader, he systematises and conceptualises the subject brilliantly, saturating it in a wealth of lesser known details. For decades this volume will remain a definitive study of communism.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,
    • RT : First founded in Edinburgh in 1979, is considered a trusted independent source for reviews of new book… ,