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Communism

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History is filled with moments of political drama and periods of deep conflict-mass demonstrations, executions, and civil wars-as people have fought and petitioned for the type of society in which they wanted to live. This thought-provoking series introduces the key characteristics of political and economic systems that people have either chosen or have had forced on them. It also explores the many issues that have fueled debates and social movements. Each book tells the story of one system: how it developed as a...
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Overview

History is filled with moments of political drama and periods of deep conflict-mass demonstrations, executions, and civil wars-as people have fought and petitioned for the type of society in which they wanted to live. This thought-provoking series introduces the key characteristics of political and economic systems that people have either chosen or have had forced on them. It also explores the many issues that have fueled debates and social movements. Each book tells the story of one system: how it developed as a set of ideas, how it evolved in practice, and how it affects the people who live under it. Communism looks at the enormous gap that developed between the theory and the practice of this system, as well as the key remaining examples of it today.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Well-written, concise, and balanced summaries of two major economic systems. Both books begin with dramatic episodes and provide some historical background, but concentrate on how the systems work today in terms of their impact on individuals and on societies. Capitalism uses a slightly oversimplified account of Adam Smith's views as its definition of "free market." It doesn't shrink from presenting rising inequality and environmental damage as the free market's inevitable effects, and accurately describes the general political trends of the 20th century as capitalism affected them. The text includes plenty of comparisons with communism and presents "welfare capitalism" as an alternative to coping with capitalism's problems. The second book reveals how communist parties around the world chose economic development over spreading their ideologies, but devotes more space to political topics (e.g., the one-party state) than to economic ones. Many useful insights are found in boxed quotations, like one from Isaac Deutscher on how the communists needed idealism to gain power, then found that the requirements of holding power eroded their idealism. The writing style in both books is clear and literate, and there are plenty of color illustrations to attract interest. Bruno Leone's Capitalism (Greenhaven, 1986; o.p.) presents more detail on specific controversial questions but lacks the current information on globalization. R. G. Grant's Capitalism and Nigel Ritchie's Communism (both RSVP, 2001) are attractively packaged and compellingly written but not as up to date as Downing's books.-Jonathan Betz-Zall, City University Library, Everett, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781432902322
  • Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Series: Political and Economic Systems Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents


Two Walls 4 Ideas and Ideals 6 Taking Power 11 Keeping Power 17 The One-Party State 21 The Planned Economy 26 The Totalitarian Society 31 Foreign Relations 37 Inflexibility and Collapse 42 Communism in the 21st Century 48 So, What Is Communism? 52 Timeline 56 Further Information 58 Key Communists 59 Glossary 61 Index 63
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