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

    • sorry I can’t spell fluttering. I was agitated.,
    • Probably try and get an announcement out later, for all these male writers who think of fluttering inner muscle sheaths...,
    • He felt the muscles far inside her flutteriung around him,
    • Next week sees return, and we've got discounted tickets on offer, right here: ,
    • We're rarely topical - tricky as a monthly magazine - but we've an article this month all about Laurence Binyon, po… ,
    • "We will remember them" - who wrote those words, and why have them become our terms of memorial? ,
    • RT : Wow. We're over the moon with this stunning piece on My Cat Yugoslavia, 'a truly extraordinary novel.'… ,