OverviewThis book takes on and refutes the conventional wisdom that communist revolution has been a disaster and nightmare. In a wide-ranging, provocative, and richly detailed interview, Raymond Lotta, a political economist and expert in the history of communism, guides the reader through the “first wave” of socialist revolutions: the Paris Commune of 1871, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917-56, and the Chinese revolution of 1949-76.This is the real history and a penetrating analysis of what these revolutions and their leadership actually set out to do, the liberating economic, social, and cultural transformations brought about, and the shortcomings as well. How did the lives of women radically change? How did revolution attack the oppression of minority nationalities? This book will show you.It also sails straight into the face of controversy. It addresses the important historical role of Stalin, the slanders directed at the Great Leap Forward and Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China, and the wrong ways that people in U.S. society have been trained to think about society, the world, and revolution.Lotta examines why these revolutions ultimately met defeat. But he also explains why it is possible, drawing the right lessons, to go further and do better in a new stage of revolution. In this, he introduces the reader to Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism.At once rigorous and accessible, the book is an unparalleled resource. The world cries out for fundamental change—yet people are told there is no alternative. Raymond Lotta makes the case that “the whole history of communism thus far shows that the world does not have to be this way.”
Author BiographyRaymond Lotta is an advocate for Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. He is a political economist, author of America in Decline, and writer for Revolution. He lectures widely and directs the “Set the Record Straight Project,” which brings out the truth of the Soviet and Chinese revolutions and provides web resources.