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Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism
     

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

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by Joshua Muravchik
 

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ISBN-10: 1893554783

ISBN-13: 9781893554788

Pub. Date: 08/28/2003

Publisher: Encounter Books


Socialism was man's most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine claiming to ground itself in "science." Indeed, no religion ever spread so far so fast. Yet while socialism had established itself as a fact of life by the beginning of the 20th century, it did not create societies of abundance or give birth to "the New Man." Each failure inspired new

Overview


Socialism was man's most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine claiming to ground itself in "science." Indeed, no religion ever spread so far so fast. Yet while socialism had established itself as a fact of life by the beginning of the 20th century, it did not create societies of abundance or give birth to "the New Man." Each failure inspired new searches for the path to the promised land: revolution, communes, social democracy, Communism, Fascism, Third World socialism. None worked, and some exacted staggering human tolls. Then, after two hundred years of wishful thinking and fitful governance, socialism suddenly imploded in a fin du siecle drama of falling walls and collapsing regimes. In Heaven on Earth, Joshua Muravchik traces this fiery trajectory through sketches of the thinkers and leaders who developed the theory, led it to power, and presided over its collapse. We see such dreamers and doers as the French revolutionary Gracchus Babeuf, whose "Conspiracy of Equals" were the first to try to outlaw private property; Robert Owen, who hoped to plant a model socialist utopia in the United States; Friedrich Engels, who created the cult of Karl Marx and "scientific" socialism; Benito Mussolini, self proclaimed socialist heretic and inventor of Fascism; Clement Attlee, who rejected the fanatics and set out to build socialism democratically in Britain; Julius Nyerere, who merged social democracy and communism in the hope of making Tanzania a model for the developing world; and Mikhail Gorbachev, Deng Xiaoping and Tony Blair, who became socialism's inadvertent undertakers. Muravchik's accomplishment in Heaven on Earth is to tell a story filled with character and event while at the same time giving us an epic chronicle of a movement that tried to turn the world upside down--and for a time succeeded.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781893554788
Publisher:
Encounter Books
Publication date:
08/28/2003
Pages:
391
Sales rank:
600,967
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Changing Faiths1
Beginnings
1Conspiracy of Equals: Babeuf plots a revolution9
2New Harmony: Owen conducts an experiment31
3Scientific Socialism: Engels interprets the oracle60
4What Is to Be Done? Bernstein develops doubts95
Triumphs
5Real Existing Socialism: Lenin seizes power123
6Fascism: Mussolini becomes a heretic144
7Social Democracy: Attlee takes the slow road172
8Ujamaa: Nyerere forges a synthesis198
Collapse
9Union Card: Gompers and Meany hear a different drummer229
10Perestroika and Modernization: Deng and Gorbachev repeal communism263
11The Party of Business: Blair redefines social democracy301
Epilogue: The kibbutz goes to market321
Appendices345
Acknowledgments349
Notes351
Index392

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Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Latte_Libertarian More than 1 year ago
It is rare to see a criticism of socialism that is unafraid to examine its arguments without deception. This is what makes Muravchik's ultimate condemnation of socialism so compelling. It is easy, and accurate, to point to the horrors created by socialism as an indictment of the ideas behind it. It is quite another thing to examine those ideas in their most compelling form, without flinching, and to demonstrate how and why they lead to so much evil and misery. That is what this book does.