New Arrivals: WWII-era Soviet Pamphlets

A few “new” and exciting books arrived in the mail, including some historically significant WWII-era pamphlets that will make a fabulous addition to our already substantial collection of Soviet works. First-edition (1935) copy of Georgi Dimitrov’s famous The United Front Against Fascism and War speech to the 7th Congress of the Communist International. First-edition (1939)Continue reading “New Arrivals: WWII-era Soviet Pamphlets”

Review: “South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an ‘Independent’ Bantustan’ – Roger Southall

Roger Southall’s “South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an ‘Independent’ Bantustan” (Monthly Review, 1983) is a technical book that examines the emergence of ‘independent’ bantustans in South Africa from the 1970s to the end of apartheid in 1994. Using Marxian political economy, Southall unravels the economic and material basis of the bantustans, focusing onContinue reading “Review: “South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an ‘Independent’ Bantustan’ – Roger Southall”

Review: “Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation” – Michael H. Belzer

Before obtaining his Ph.D. in economics from Cornel University, Michael H. Belzer logged over 750,000 over-the-road miles as a Teamster tank-truck driver. Thus, along with his academic background, Belzer has firsthand experience working in the trucking industry. Like Belzer, I, too, am an academic with experience working in the trucking industry, increasing the appeal ofContinue reading “Review: “Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation” – Michael H. Belzer”

Review: “Soviet-Polish Relations, 1917-1921” – Piotr S. Wandycz

Piotr S. Wandycz examines Soviet-Polish relations in the period between the October Revolution of 1917 to the conclusion of the Soviet-Polish war with the signing of the Treaty of Riga in 1921. For a book published by Harvard University Press, Wandycz is surprisingly and refreshingly detailed and objective as he examines the diplomatic and militaryContinue reading “Review: “Soviet-Polish Relations, 1917-1921” – Piotr S. Wandycz”

Review: “Central Asia in Modern Times: A History from the Early 19th Century” – Devendra Kaushik

“Central Asia in Modern Times: A History from the Early 19th Century” by Devendra Kaushik is a history of Central Asia since the Russian conquest in the mid-1800s. As a Marxist-Leninist from India who studied the national archives in Russia, India, and Uzbekistan, Kaushik’s perspective is very much of an outsider looking in. This outsiderContinue reading “Review: “Central Asia in Modern Times: A History from the Early 19th Century” – Devendra Kaushik”

Review: “Ethnocultural Processes and National Problems in the Modern World” – ed. I. R. Grigulevich

“Ethnocultural Processes and National Problems in the Modern World” is a collection of essays by Soviet ethnologists edited by I. R. Grigulevich about ethnic, racial, and national issues in both the USSR and other countries. This is an impressively comprehensive book. Part 1 of the book examines ethnocultural processes in the USSR and is dividedContinue reading “Review: “Ethnocultural Processes and National Problems in the Modern World” – ed. I. R. Grigulevich”

Review: “To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia” – Michael Parenti

“To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia” by Michael Parenti is the best book on the Balkan wars I have ever read. Parenti is my two favourite authors (the other being Victor Perlo), and this is probably my favourite book by him. Anyone interested in the Balkans and NATO’s aggressive expansion since the overthrowContinue reading “Review: “To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia” – Michael Parenti”

Review: “The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood” – William D. Haywood

The one-eyed William D. “Big Bill” Haywood (1869-1923) was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a member of the Communist Party of the USA, and a revolutionary fighter against capitalism and exploitation. His autobiography is a riveting working-class history of the USA. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1869,Continue reading “Review: “The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood” – William D. Haywood”

Review: “Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe” – Gérard Prunier

Gérard Prunier’s Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe is a masterful study of the causes and consequences of the Rwandan Genocide (1994) and the First and Second Congo Wars (1996-1997, 1998-2003). The Rwandan Civil War (1990-1994) began when Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded Rwanda fromContinue reading “Review: “Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe” – Gérard Prunier”

Review: “The Battle of Stalingrad” – Marshal Vasili Ivanovich Chuikov, Supreme Commander of Soviet Land Forces

With an estimated 2 million casualties, the Battle of Stalingrad was the deadliest battle in WWII and one of the deadliest battles in the history of warfare. The battle was marked by fierce close-quarters, hand-to-hand combat, and direct air raids on civilians, a reality that was brilliantly depicted in the 2013 Russian film Stalingrad. HitlerContinue reading “Review: “The Battle of Stalingrad” – Marshal Vasili Ivanovich Chuikov, Supreme Commander of Soviet Land Forces”

Review: “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation” – Brian S. Roper

What are the origins of ‘democracy’? Are countries like the US, Canada, Britain, etc., democratic? In “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation,” Brian S. Roper examines liberal assumptions about the origins and essence of democracy using Marxist historical materialism. Roper begins by examining the system of participatory democracy in Athens and Rome and itsContinue reading “Review: “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation” – Brian S. Roper”

Review: “The Balkans, 1804-1999: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers” – Misha Glenny

At more than 700 pages long, Misha Glenny’s “The Balkans, 1804-1999: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers” is a powerful and impressively comprehensive history of the Balkans. Beginning with the First Serbian Uprising against Ottoman rule in 1804, Glenny chronologically examines the historical origins of nationalism and the various nation-states in the Balkans, including Serbia,Continue reading “Review: “The Balkans, 1804-1999: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers” – Misha Glenny”

Review: “State-Monopoly Capitalism and Labour Law” – Igor Kiselyov

You’ll have to forgive me for the brevity of this review. I have been working tirelessly to get my manuscript ready for publication with my editor, which has consequently occupied most of my time, thoughts, and energy. Also, I read this book weeks ago, so might have forgotten some of it by now. “State-Monopoly CapitalismContinue reading “Review: “State-Monopoly Capitalism and Labour Law” – Igor Kiselyov”

Review: “Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution” – Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy

“Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution” by Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy is a masterpiece of history, international law, and the failure of UN conflict resolution. Zunes and Mundy identify and methodically examine the sources of the almost five-decade-long dispute and its intractability, including the Moroccan regime’s need for legitimacy leading to manifest destiny-likeContinue reading “Review: “Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution” – Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy”

Review: “Recent History of the Labor Movement in the United States: 1918-1939” – ed. B. Y. Mikhailov

This is the first volume in a three-volume series by Progress Publishers examining the US labour movement from 1918 to 1980. Although the title of the book and of the series is the “Recent History of the Labor Movement in the United States,” there was actually very little history in the book. The book isContinue reading “Review: “Recent History of the Labor Movement in the United States: 1918-1939” – ed. B. Y. Mikhailov”

Review: “The Library: A Fragile History” – Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen

How did public libraries start? What happened to the Library of Alexandria? How did Gutenberg’s press influence libraries and book-collecting? What role did libraries and librarians play in significant conflicts such as WWII? When and why did fiction become so widespread? How did Martin Luther and the Reformation forever change the nature of books? AndrewContinue reading “Review: “The Library: A Fragile History” – Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen”

Review: “A History of the Tajiks: Iranians of the East” – Richard Foltz

Tajikistan is a country I am very interested in; I own and have read many books about Tajikistan. If I can save enough money, I plan to drive the Pamir Highway from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in a year or two, subject to COVID restrictions. I didn’t have very high expectations when I beganContinue reading “Review: “A History of the Tajiks: Iranians of the East” – Richard Foltz”

Review: “History in the Making: Memoirs of WWII Diplomacy” – Valentin Berezhkov

In this book published by Progress Publishers, Valentin Berezhkov describes in incredible detail high-level diplomatic meetings between representatives of the USSR and representatives from Nazi Germany, Britain, and the U.S., as part of a comprehensive analysis of the politics of WWII. An engineer by profession, Berezhkov was transferred first to the Soviet embassy in BerlinContinue reading “Review: “History in the Making: Memoirs of WWII Diplomacy” – Valentin Berezhkov”

Review: “Beyond the Arab Cold War: The International Politics of the Yemen Civil War, 1962-68” – Asher Orkaby

Asher Orkaby’s “Beyond the Arab Cold War: The International Politics of the Yemen Civil War, 1962-68” is a comprehensive analysis of the international politics and significance of the (North) Yemeni Civil War. The Yemeni Civil War began on September 26th, 1962, when the military forces of Abdullah al-Sallal shelled Muhammad al-Badr’s royal palace in Sana’aContinue reading “Review: “Beyond the Arab Cold War: The International Politics of the Yemen Civil War, 1962-68” – Asher Orkaby”

Review: “From Tsardom to the Stalin Constitution” – W. P. Coates and Zelda K. Coates

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 bookContinue reading “Review: “From Tsardom to the Stalin Constitution” – W. P. Coates and Zelda K. Coates”