Published in the UK in 1938, “From Tsardom to the Stalin Constitution” by W. P. and Zelda K. Coates is an excellent history of the Soviet Union and the impressive achievements of the Soviet working-class under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. Considering the year this book was published it is difficult to imagine this book … Continue reading Review: “From Tsardom to the Stalin Constitution” – W. P. Coates and Zelda K. Coates
Belarus has made international headlines in 2020 with the Belarusian presidential election and accusations that the election was rigged in favour of Alexander Lukashenko, who has served as president of Belarus since 1994. Although this seemed like a U.S.-sponsored colour revolution to me (and I still think it is), I didn’t know enough about Belarus … Continue reading Review: “The Last Soviet Republic: Alexander Lukashenko’s Belarus” – Stewart Parker
I was not very enthusiastic about Johannes Socher’s “Russia and the Right to Self-Determination in the Post-Soviet Space” when I first ordered it on Amazon. The title of the book sounded like it was going to be some kind of Russophobic 'analysis', i.e., U.S.-NATO propaganda, like books by Svante Cornell, Kamal Makili-Aliyev, Bahruz Balyev, and … Continue reading Review: “Russia and the Right to Self-Determination in the Post-Soviet Space” – Johannes Socher
Before I read Nina Bogomolova’s book “‘Human Relations’ Doctrine: Ideological Weapon of the Monopolies” I had no idea what “human relations” doctrine was. A few pages into the book, however, I soon realized I knew exactly what “human relations” doctrine was and that I have personally experienced it — and I knew I was going … Continue reading Review: “‘Human Relations’ Doctrine: Ideological Weapon of the Monopolies” – Nina Bogomolova
“Soviet Lithuania on the Road to Prosperity” by Antanas Sneickus, who served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Lithuania from 15 August 1940 to 22 January 1974, is a short little book about the history of Lithuania and its progressive socio-economic development under socialism. Since I know very little about Lithuanian history, … Continue reading Review: “Soviet Lithuania on the Road to Prosperity” – Antanas Sneickus
Heraldo Munoz is a Chilean politician who was appointed to head a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate the assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. This book is kind of like an unofficial memoir of his experience investigating Bhutto's assassination. It is a unique blend of a historical and … Continue reading Review: “Getting Away with Murder: Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan” – Heraldo Munoz
“Danger NATO” by Anatoly Grishchenko, Vladimir Semenov, and Leonid Teplinsky is a short Marxist-Leninist analysis of NATO published in the USSR. The book examines the history, establishment, and ideology of NATO, how the U.S. uses NATO to pressure Western European states to act as junior and subservient partners of U.S. imperialism against their own national … Continue reading Review: “Danger: NATO” – Anatoly Grishchenko, Vladimir Semenov, and Leonid Teplinsky
December was kind of a chaotic month for me on multiple fronts (well, let's be honest, 2021 sucked!). In mid-December I started a new job, then I resigned from that job, and this week I have started a second new job at a much better company than before. That was a stressful and messy transition. … Continue reading 2021….ughh
“Modern Bulgaria: Problems and Tasks in Building an Advanced Socialist Society” is an anthology of writings and speeches by the Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov, who served as General Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party from 1954-89. Most of the chapters are repetitive in style and content like so many other books published in the USSR … Continue reading Review: “Modern Bulgaria: Problems and Tasks in Building an Advanced Socialist Society” – Todor Zhivkov
My goal was to read between 65-70 books in 2021 (I read 53 in 2019 and 58 in 2020). Unfortunately 2021 was a crazy (and by that I mean terrible) year for us and I didn’t even make it to 50 books! Although I didn’t read as many books as I hoped I did read … Continue reading Books I Read in 2021
After reading “Blood on their Banner,” I couldn’t decide what I wanted to read next, when I looked at a book on my shelf and thought, “Hey, this looks like an obscure book, I shall read this one!” That book was “The Indian Minority of Zambia, Rhodesia, and Malawi” by Floyd and Lillian, which I … Continue reading Review: “The Indian Minority of Zambia, Rhodesia, and Malawi” – Floyd and Lillian Dotson
(Featured photo source: https://www.onefc.com/lifestyle/muay-thai-stance/) This week my wife and I started doing something new — learning Muay Thai martial arts at Kwest Muay Thai & Kickboxing. For a while both of us have wanted to get in shape and be more active, but a standard gym membership doesn’t work for us. Neither of us are … Continue reading I Went Outside My Comfort Zone Again — Learning Muay Thai!
David Robie’s “Blood on their Banner: Nationalist Struggles in the South Pacific” is a comprehensive and outstanding work on the struggles of the peoples of the South Pacific against colonialism and for the right to self-determination. No other work on the South Pacific compares in the amount detail and information contained in Robie’s book, not … Continue reading Review: “Blood on their Banner: Nationalist Struggles in the South Pacific” – David Robie
I have a lot of mixed feelings about Paul Frölich’s famous biography of Rosa Luxemburg. A lot of what is written in the book strikes me as ultra-left, maybe even Trotskyist; and since I am not expert on Luxemburg’s life and her theories, I find it difficult to determine how much of the ultra-leftism, encompassing … Continue reading Review: “Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Work” – Paul Frölich
“General de Gaulle: His Life and Work” by Nikolai Molchanov is one of the BEST biographies I have ever read. Molchanov, a Soviet scholar, offers a Marxist-Leninist analysis of one of France’s most important leaders, General Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free France forces against Vichy France and Nazi Germany in WWII, Chairman … Continue reading “General De Gaulle: His Life and Work” – Nikolai Molchanov
“The Red Feds: Revolutionary Industrial Unionism and the New Zealand Federation of Labour, 1908-1914” by Erik Olssen chronicles the momentous changes in the New Zealand working-class in the period prior to WWI. The main focus of this book are the changes and struggles within the working-class as opposed to between workers and employers typical of … Continue reading Review: “The Red Feds: Revolutionary Industrial Unionism and the New Zealand Federation of Labour, 1908-1914” – Erik Olssen
Christopher Kaplonski’s “The Lama Question: Violence, Sovereignty, and Exception in Early Socialist Mongolia” is the third book I have read about socialist Mongolia. The book is not a comprehensive historical analysis of the struggle between Mongolian socialists and the feudal Buddhist establishment like its name might suggest. Rather, Kaplonski’s interest is in elaborating on anthropological … Continue reading Review: “The Lama Question: Violence, Sovereignty, and Exception in Early Socialist Mongolia” – Christopher Kaplonski
John Saltford’s “The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal” provides an outstanding analysis of the failure of the United Nations to implement the 1962 New York Agreement. Moreover, although the main interest of the Saltford is not the right of peoples to self-determination under international law, it … Continue reading Review: “The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal” – John Saltford
I did something wild and outside my comfort zone!
“Leninism and the National Question” is undoubtedly the most challenging book I have read in 2021. At 540 pages long, it is also one of the largest Soviet Progress Publisher books I own, and it is definitely not a light, after work read. It took all my mental faculties to finish this book. The … Continue reading Review: “Leninism and the National Question” – P. N. Fedosyev, et. al.