By: Benjamin Weingarten
May 1 marks what is known as May Day, a celebration of international workers chosen by the socialists and Communists of the Second International to recognize the Haymarket affair in Chicago’s Haymarket Square of May 1886.
In order to ring in the holiday, we thought it apt to share 10 books on socialism and Communism and their impact on mankind.
1) The Marx-Engels Reader by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
This book contains the core works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, which provide the intellectual basis for socialism and Communism.
2) The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
One of the most powerful arguments against all forms of collectivism, Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” is in many ways the foil to Marx and Engels, showing the disasters of central planning, and illustrating how finding a “middle path” with statism inevitably drags a people all the way there. We would also recommend Frédéric Bastiat’s “The Law” and Ludwig von Mises’ “Human Action,” among countless other titles.
3) The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression by Various authors
The definitive compendium of atrocities committed worldwide under Communism from Stalin’s Russia to Mao’s China and everywhere in between, prior to the 21st century.
4) The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn
“The Gulag Archipelago” gave the West a comprehensive look into the dehumanizing slavery of the concentration camps known as the gulags of the Soviet Union.
5) Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag by Armando Valladares
For those wondering what life was and to a degree still is like under Castro’s Cuba, Valladares’ “Against All Hope” shows the tyranny of the Communist regime and the unimaginably cruel treatment of its political prisoners. We excerpted one of the most sobering portions of Valladares’ book here.
6) Witness by Whittaker Chambers
An American Communist turned staunch conservative, Chambers’ “Witness” was one of the key texts in the ideological battle against Communism of the Cold War. “Witness” is incidentally one of TheBlaze’s Buck Sexton’s three favorite biographies.
7) Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
As we have written about previously, “Doctor Zhivago” was viewed as so important in discrediting the Russian Revolution of 1917 that the CIA used it as part of a plot to undermine the Communist cause, flooding the Soviet Union with copies of it during the throes of the Cold War.
8) Disinformation by Ion Pacepa and Prof. Ronald Rychlak
We have written about “Disinformation” numerous times at TheBlaze Books, but suffice it to say if you want to understand how Communists have successfully waged ideological warfare and its great impact on society to this day, you need to read this book.
9) Stalin’s Secret Agents by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein
The late M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein show just how effective the Communists were in infiltrating the highest levels of power during the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt era, based upon their study of recently released shocking intelligence documents. You will also want to check out Evans’ “Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies.”
10) American Betrayal by Diana West
Building on the efforts of M. Stanton Evans and others, Diana West’s “American Betrayal” — of which we have written favorably in the past — seeks to explain how it could be that there is a government-wide effort in her view to whitewash jihadism, along with a willful blindness to and even complicity with jihadist elements at the highest levels of our political system.
West finds this precedent — along with remarkable parallels — in President Roosevelt’s sympathy with and willful blindness towards the Communist threat during the World War II era. West boldly documents how damaging this was to the nation. ”American Betrayal” is an eye-opening piece of revisionist history — and we do not mean that in a pejorative sense — that has caused an unprecedented level of controversy among conservative anti-Communists.
Ms. West shared with us her own reading recommendations on these topics here.
10a) Dupes by Paul Kengor
Author Paul Kengor – he of “11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative” (reviewed here and more here) — has written the book on the manipulation of progressives in America by socialists and Communists from the early 20th century to present. This is a chilling but crucial must read that will change the way you view our nation’s history.
Note: The link to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.