Category Archives: Democracy

Review: “Irish-Soviet Diplomatic and Friendship Relations 1917-1991” by Michael Quinn.

    Umiskin press have published a timely account of Irish Soviet relations in this the centennial year of the wholly unnecessary Russian Revolution. Quinn developed this book from a thesis that he had submitted to earn his PHD.  Ultimately, … Continue reading

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Review: “The Crossing. My journey to the shattered heart of Syria” by Samar Yazbeck

Introduction:         “Death was so straightforward here, so close and intimate” wrote Yazbeck of her three trips through rebel held areas of Syria in 2012 and 2013. Yazbeck’s prose whilst addressing the post-Revolutionary Syrian landscape is elegant. … Continue reading

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Review: Xu Hongci “No Wall Too High: One Man’s Extraordinary Escape from Mao’s Infamous Labour Camps”

Introduction:   Xu Hongci met Chairman Mao in June of 1953. Had the event been captured on film, it is highly likely that Hongci would have appeared like one of those people you see in the old propaganda films clapping … Continue reading

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Samantha Power “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide”

Introduction:      I cannot help but think that there is a chapter missing from Power’s “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide”. Surely the European settler’s wilful elimination of eighty to ninety percent of the indigenous … Continue reading

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Defending the indefensible. A Review of Leon Trotsky’s “Terrorism and Communism”

Introduction:     This short polemic from Trotsky was a reply to Karl Kautsky’s stinging critique of the Russian Revolution. Kautsky believed that the Bolsheviks had disregarded some of the basic tenets of Marxism by violently seizing power. Kautsky was … Continue reading

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Review: Anna Applebaum “Gulag: A History”

Introduction:   Applebaum has helped to lift the lid on arguably the most brutal regime in history. The level of systematic and institutional violence was incomprehensible. I am not sure the human brain was designed to think in these terms. I … Continue reading

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The Russian revolution 100 years on. Review: E.H. Carr “The Russian Revolution from Lenin to Stalin 1917-1929”

    Introduction:   Carr devoted thirty years of his life to writing his fourteen volume, two million words and arguably the definitive history of Twentieth Century Russia. This is his magnum opus distilled into two hundred pages and it … Continue reading

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