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THE RED FLAG

THE RED FLAG

THE RED FLAG

DAVID PRIESTLAND

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Regular Price: RS.2,325.00

Special Price RS.698.00

Communism was one of the most powerful political and intellectual movements of the modern world; at the height of its influence over a third of the world’s population lived under Communist rule. And yet very few predicted either its bewildering rise or sudden decline, while even close observers were mystified by its frequent convulsions and turbulent politics.In The Red Flag, David Priestland provides an original account of the Communist movement that fully explores its global impact. He not only discusses the ideas and motivations of its principal thinkers and leaders - from Marx to Mao, from Stalin to Che Guevara, but also asks why Communism inspired its rank and file – from the militants of 1920s Russia and the guerrilla fighters of China to the Marxist students of Ethiopia and the urban terrorists of Europe in the 1970s. At same the time The Red Flag explores the experience of living under Communism for its millions of subjects.In his lively and absorbing narrative Priestland stresses how varied a phenomenon Communism was. He traces its emergence in the aftermath of the French Revolution, and shows how those early ideas evolved and mutated as they moved across time and place, from the barricades of Europe in 1848 to the villages of Nepal today.As Priestland shows, Communists may have promised to build just and modern societies, but just as they destroyed old structures of privilege, they simultaneously built new ones. This central paradox, together with economic failure and a history of horrifying violence would, by the 1980s, leave the Communist project in tatters. Even so, Communist parties are still in power in Asia and Latin America and, as Priestland emphasizes, Communism has played a central role in the history of the modern world - not only through its militaristic political systems, but also its broader influence on ideas and culture. At a time when the post-Cold War order is itself in crisis and we enter a new phase of global political and economic uncertainty, The Red Flag is essential reading.
 
Communism was one of the most powerful political and intellectual movements the world has ever seen. At the height of their influence, Communists controlled more than a third of the earth’s surface. But perhaps more astonishing than its rapid rise and extraordinary reach was Communism’s sudden, devastating collapse in November of 1989. In The Red Flag, Oxford professor David Priestland tells the epic story of a movement that has taken root in dozens of countries across two hundred years, from its birth after the French Revolution to its ideological maturity in nineteenth-century Germany to its rise to dominance (and subsequent fall) in the twentieth century. Beginning with the first modern Communists in the age of Robespierre, Priestland examines the motives of thinkers and leaders including Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Che Guevara, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gorbachev, and many others. He also explores the experience of what it meant to live under Communism for its millions of subjects. At a time when global capitalism is in crisis and powerful new political forces have arisen to confront Western democracy, The Red Flag is essential reading if we are to apply the lessons of the past to navigating the future.

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Publisher Allen Lane

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