The Communist Century


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From the very origins of the communism, in the radicalised European working class movements of the late 19th Century, a vast an complex ideological movement that would eventually dominate much of humanity a century later emerged. The 20th Century was communism’s century, a belief system that promised utopia managed instead to spread terrific suffering and bloodshed in its wake. The expansion of communist revolutions around the world after the two world wars, communism’s first state in Russia, Stalinism and the dictator’s empire in Eastern Europe and the influence of communism in China, Asia, South America and Africa are all covered here in this short introductory guide by Chris Kostov. For those who are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of 20th Century history, or for students who want a better grasp of the broad scope of change during the century, this is an indispensable guide.20th Century Lives is a new series from Explaining History, taking pivotal figures from the last century and exploring their legacies in an accessible and concise way; ideal for history enthusiasts, students and first time readers of modern history.

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From Revolution To Decay: 1917 to 2000








Chris Kostov


History is my vocation and passion and I have been fascinated with it since I was 9 or 10 years old. I graduated my Ph.D. in history from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 2009. I have specialized in modern Central and Eastern European history, the history of Canadian immigration and Canadian Native Studies. I embarked on the project to write a book on communism from its creation as a philosophy to its failure because it gave me a wonderful reason to go back to the sources and the places I have visited and lived in Eastern Europe and to do something I really love – writing about major historical events. I have also authored two other books: Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Canadians in Toronto, 1900-1996 (Peter Lang, 2010) and Terror and Fear: British and American Perceptions of the French-Indian Alliances during the Seven Years' War (Publish America, 2005) as well as a number of articles and book reviews.

I have taught university history courses in Canada and Austria and I have given over 20 invited lectures and conference presentations in Canada, USA, Russia, Ukraine and across the EU. I have also been a historical researcher in the Canadian federal government, English teacher in Spain and most recently a freelance historian.

In my free time, I like travelling, studying new languages, exploring new cultures and discussing historical and political topics with my family and friends.