A great overview of modern authoritarianism.Nick de meersman
A good book that gives some excellent historical analsysis of several of the without doubt nastiest regimes of the 20th century. His focus on intellectual tradtions and identification of general feelings of ressentment as the prime sources of totalitarian regimes is a convincing one. However, he fails to adequatly explain why many socialist countries did not become totalitarian regimes that killed thousands or even millions of its inhabitants. Countries like Laos, Vietnam, Burkina faso, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Yuguslavia are not examined enough or not even mentioned in this book. Claiming the USSR collapsed partly because it's leader at the time Gorbachev had some sense of humanity that prevented him of doing acts of cruelty necessary to keep the USSR from faling apart feels a bit shallow.But then again this is a very liberal and pro capitalism book.Altough his claim that isolated regimes tend to fall prey easier to tyranny than open countries has some merit to it, it's a bit shallow again to limit this to economic connections. After all, China had opened up to the west but it did not prevent it from supressing a great many of popular movements in it's borders the most famous one at Tiananmen. The other way Cuba and burkina Faso under commander Sankara were isolated countries in an economic sense yet they did not became tyrannies. So final conclusion; it's a good book and very easy to read with a clear point of view, I would recommend reading some other political analysis of the same countries with a different point of view.Lindsay
Wouldn't be a bad work, except for the fact that I totally disagree with his categorization of modern typologies. I mean, *come on*, totalitarianism is *completely* different that our classical understanding of dictatorship. Really.