Donald Sassoon

El Zorro Rojo

The Last Stalinist: The Life of Santiago Carrillo


William Collins 432pp £30 order from our bookshop

In 1977 an old ghost in new clothes began to stalk Europe: Eurocommunism. The term was invented by a journalist to denote a novel type of Western communism, somewhat liberal, almost social democratic and anyway nicer, cosier and more stylish than the traditional Soviet brand (not a difficult enterprise). The term was soon adopted by the leaders of the communist parties of Italy (Enrico Berlinguer), France (Georges Marchais) and Spain (Santiago Carrillo), who met in Madrid in March of that year to affirm and reaffirm their commitment to Western democracy. The ghost scared only those who were easily scared or whose job it was to pretend to be scared by leftists (the secret services, Kissinger and such like). Eurocommunism annoyed the Russians, since it suggested that to win elections in the West one had to distance oneself from the East. Less than a decade later the phenomenon evanesced. It would have been swept away anyway by the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,