This Paperback is Not Available through
Sending request ...

More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In the mid-19th century, Karl Marx looked at a world in which greedy capitalists made enormous profits, while millions of expropriated workers lived in poverty and misery. From these raw materials and a background in Hegelian philosophy, Marx crafted a belief system that was swiftly adopted by many other socialist thinkers. Over the years Marx's ideas took root among both organized socialist parties and more radical communist underground groups. In the twentieth century communist groups were able to seize power in nations such as Russia, China, Vietnam, and Cuba. Once in power those cadres established states that provided a broad safety net of egalitarianism on the surface, while simultaneously morphing into dictatorships of the most savage nature. Under leaders such as Stalin, Mao, and Ho Chi Minh communist states were established that wrenched their peasant nations into the modern age. However, as the author of this fine title in the "Systems of Government" series recounts, those same communist regimes brutally suppressed, imprisoned, purged, and murdered tens of millions of people. Here, readers are offered an excellent introduction to a political system that still rules in nations encompassing more than 20% of the world's population. Communist nations represent a dichotomy of equality with privilege based upon rhetoric stressing comradeship while enacting brutal repression. This is the conundrum of communism, and it is one that is well laid out in this excellent illustrated work. 2006, World Almanac Library, Ages 12 up.
—Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-These titles describe four primary forms of government. Specific examples, both from large and small countries and from many periods in history, help to clarify the definitions and highlight the small differences that exist even among similar governments. Most importantly, the authors note throughout how governments have changed over time and the influences that have affected such change, Russia being an excellent example. Some inconsistencies and overlapping information are apparent in the four volumes, as both Dowswell and Grant discuss Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro in some depth, which could be confusing to students who might then equate communism with dictatorship. Woolf mentions Myanmar, which has a brutal dictatorship, as a "struggling democracy," but it is never discussed in Dowswell's book. These titles would be more useful as a single volume, thus eliminating any discrepancies. The writing is generally clear, but occasionally lapses into lengthy explanations become convoluted. Historical and contemporary photographs offer visual reference for specific people or points of interest, and small sidebars are particularly interesting and helpful.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780237539344
  • Publisher: Evans, M. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2009

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)