Grigori Rasputin rated it really liked it Jun 24, Rui Santos rated it really liked it Aug 24, Jeff rated it it was amazing Aug 13, No trivia or quizzes yet. Bakunin foresaw the tyranny of the dictatorship of the proletariat. A Short History of Socialism S marked it as to-read Aug 28, His discussion of Marx, who Lichtheim is an excellent writer and a top-notch wit, which sometimes makes it easy to forget his shortcomings both as a lihctheim and a political analyst. If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? There was a problem adding your email address. He believed businesses would pay an absolute minimum which did not take into account the rule of law and politics and ethics.
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Start your review of A Short History of Socialism Write a review Feb 27, William West rated it liked it Lichtheim is an excellent writer and a top-notch wit, which sometimes makes it easy to forget his shortcomings both as a historian and a political analyst.
First off, the first two thirds of the book are excellent. Lichthein presents an engaging history of the pre-Marxist genesis of cooperativist ideas following the French Revolution.
His subtle, yet both cutting and loving critiques of the schools of the early-left are marvelously entertaining, informative, and dry. His discussion of Marx, who Lichtheim is an excellent writer and a top-notch wit, which sometimes makes it easy to forget his shortcomings both as a historian and a political analyst. His discussion of Marx, who he holds to be a genius despite not considering himself a "Marxist" is pretty good as well. Yet, with scant historical evidence, he declares that Marx was a social-democrat, not a communist, by the end of his life.
Gradually, the book gets embarrassing. The author falls tooth and nail for the bourgeois critique of the Soviet Union as a mirror image "totalitarianism" to that of the Nazis. Indeed, he proclaims that no "normal" person could choose either, even though sections of capitalists did very well under fascism. Meanwhile, the life expectancies of the majority of people greatly increased under what Lichtheim labels "Stalinism". You would thing this would be enough to convince some sane people of whatever camp that they were living under an agreeable system.
Worst of all, Lichtheim demeans all third-world socialist movements as being primitivist strong-manism. We are supposed to dismiss Castro and Mao as mere opportunists taking advantage of "simple people.
A short history of socialism / George Lichtheim.
A short history of socialism