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 outsider … Continue 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 divided … Continue reading Review: “Ethnocultural Processes and National Problems in the Modern World” – ed. I. R. Grigulevich

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: “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. Hitler … Continue 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 its … Continue 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: “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 is … Continue reading Review: “Recent History of the Labor Movement in the United States: 1918-1939” – ed. B. Y. Mikhailov

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 began … Continue 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 Berlin … Continue 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’a … Continue 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 book … Continue reading Review: “From Tsardom to the Stalin Constitution” – W. P. Coates and Zelda K. Coates

Review: “The Last Soviet Republic: Alexander Lukashenko’s Belarus” – Stewart Parker

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

Review: “‘Human Relations’ Doctrine: Ideological Weapon of the Monopolies” – Nina Bogomolova

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

Review: “Soviet Lithuania on the Road to Prosperity” – Antanas Sneickus

“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

Review: “Danger: NATO” – Anatoly Grishchenko, Vladimir Semenov, and Leonid Teplinsky

“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

Review: “Modern Bulgaria: Problems and Tasks in Building an Advanced Socialist Society” – Todor Zhivkov

“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

Review: “Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Work” – Paul Frölich

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” – Nikolai Molchanov

“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

Review: “The Lama Question: Violence, Sovereignty, and Exception in Early Socialist Mongolia” – Christopher Kaplonski

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

Review: “Leninism and the National Question” – P. N. Fedosyev, et. al.

“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.