Breaking With Communism

Breaking With Communism

by Robert Hessen
     
 

Bertram Wolfe (1896-1977) was the pre-eminent U.S. historian of Soviet Russia and author of the classis Three Who Made a Revolution, a triple biography of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. His autobiography, A Life in Two Centuries, ends around 1937-1939, after he has related how his opposition to World War I led him to become an early admirer of V.I. Lenin

Overview

Bertram Wolfe (1896-1977) was the pre-eminent U.S. historian of Soviet Russia and author of the classis Three Who Made a Revolution, a triple biography of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. His autobiography, A Life in Two Centuries, ends around 1937-1939, after he has related how his opposition to World War I led him to become an early admirer of V.I. Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution, how he helped create communist parties in the United States and Mexico, how he was expelled by Joseph Stalin in 1929, and how during the next decade he hoped for a reconciliation with Stalin. Wolfe's account breaks off, however, before he could explain how he reached the conclusion that Soviet communism, which he had once idealized and defended, would destroy human liberty if not opposed.

Breaking With Communism documents the second half of Wolfe's life, drawing from his papers in the Hoover Institution Archives. This volume, consisting chiefly of Wolfe's letters from 1939 on and supplemented by unpublished speeches and writings, illuminates his struggle to uncover the truth about the history of Soviet Russia and his anguish over renouncing his earlier allegiances not only to Lenin, but to Karl Marx as well. At a time when intellectuals in Eastern Europe and China are going through the same painful, soul-searching process, this book is especially timely and insightful.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Unlike most collections of letters, this one has a theme that gives the work a narrative thread. The documentary skillfully traces how Bert Wolfe's ideas evolved, how he changed, slowly and reluctantly, from being an ardent defender of Lenin, communism, and Soviet Russia, to being a leading adversary. Wolfe's Voice of America radio scripts, published here for the first time, contain some of the most eloquent words ever penned by a critic of communism and a defender of democracy." —Sidney Hook

Booknews
Wolfe (1896-1977) was the pre-eminent US historian of Soviet Russia. His autobiography, A life in two centuries, ends around 1937-1939. This volume, consisting chiefly of Wolfe's letters from 1939 on, illuminates his struggle to uncover the truth about the history of Soviet Russia and his anguish over renouncing his earlier allegiances not only to Lenin, but to Karl Marx as well. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817988814
Publisher:
Hoover Institution Press
Publication date:
03/01/1990
Series:
HOOVER INST PRESS PUBLICATION Series
Pages:
311
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.10(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Hessen is a historian educated at Queens College, Harvard University, and Columbia University. He is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace and the general editor of the Hoover Archival Documentary series.

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