This is an essential book. An enormous account of material on the history of communism has been sifted for significant details. The lives and personalities of its leaders in the past and at the present have been combed for the effects that the men -- their motives and their temperaments -- have had on the course of communism wherever it flourishes. The results have been combined into the kind of unhysterical, straightforward record of men and events that leaves the reader with a grasp when it happened, why it happened and who and what was responsible. Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Tito, Khrushchev and Mao are covered -- their countries, their concepts of communism, their implementation of power. In each case the record is allowed to speak for itself. There is neither propagandizing nor preaching. There is evident here a real respect for the young reader's judgment. It is a very well written book, and all the good things said of the author's previous book -- Winston Churchill and the Story of Two World Wars are applicable to this one. The book is particularly welcome at this age level and would be a worthwhile addition to adult collections, too.