MARXISM IN POWER by Michael G. Kort


The Rise and Fall of a Doctrine
Age Range: 12 & up
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 A political historian updates, broadens, and simplifies his adult-level history of Soviet power. Setting the scene with the recent collapse of Marxist regimes around the globe, Kort presents the rise of socialist ideas with the Industrial Revolution and shows how Marx and Engels collaborated to develop the Marxist movement; the book is most valuable for its unusually clear explanation of the basic idea of dialectical materialism. Kort explains why Western European Marxists became reformers rather than revolutionaries while Russian Marxists, in their despair, became increasingly violent, and he shows how political and social conditions elsewhere led to other versions of Marxism, particularly in China. Moving into more recent history, the author's evident abhorrence for Marxism's results skews his presentation. Harping on the repressive side of the ``dictatorship of the proletariat,'' he passes over the appeal of Marxist ideals to both intellectuals and workers, pointing instead to the massive political and economic failure that caused former communists to beg for Western aid. Concentrating on the fortunes of particular political leaders, Kort fails to answer the obvious question: If the philosophy of Marxism was so terrible, why did it appeal so strongly to so many ordinary people around the world? Clearly presented, but not a balanced viewpoint. Source notes; chronology; index. Photos not seen. (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-56294-241-7
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Millbrook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993


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