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Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism [Paperback]

Our Price $ 15.26  
Retail Value $ 17.95  
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Item Number 282335  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   350
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 25, 2003
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  1893554783  
EAN  9781893554788  


Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 23, 2017 10:35.
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Item Description...
Overview
Socialism was man's most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine claiming to ground itself in "science." Indeed, no religion ever spread so far so fast. Yet while socialism had established itself as a fact of life by the beginning of the 20th century, it did not create societies of abundance or give birth to "the New Man." Each failure inspired new searches for the path to the promised land: revolution, communes, social democracy, Communism, Fascism, Third World socialism. None worked, and some exacted staggering human tolls. Then, after two hundred years of wishful thinking and fitful governance, socialism suddenly imploded in a fin du siecle drama of falling walls and collapsing regimes. In Heaven on Earth, Joshua Muravchik traces this fiery trajectory through sketches of the thinkers and leaders who developed the theory, led it to power, and presided over its collapse. We see such dreamers and doers as the French revolutionary Gracchus Babeuf, whose "Conspiracy of Equals" were the first to try to outlaw private property; Robert Owen, who hoped to plant a model socialist utopia in the United States; Friedrich Engels, who created the cult of Karl Marx and "scientific" socialism; Benito Mussolini, self proclaimed socialist heretic and inventor of Fascism; Clement Attlee, who rejected the fanatics and set out to build socialism democratically in Britain; Julius Nyerere, who merged social democracy and communism in the hope of making Tanzania a model for the developing world; and Mikhail Gorbachev, Deng Xiaoping and Tony Blair, who became socialism's inadvertent undertakers. Muravchik's accomplishment in Heaven on Earth is to tell a story filled with character and event while at the same time giving us an epic chronicle of a movement that tried to turn the world upside down-and for a time succeeded.

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More About Joshua Muravchik

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joshua Muravchik, a distinguished fellow at the World Affairs Institute, is the author of hundreds of articles appearing in all major U.S. newspapers and intellectual magazines, as well as ten previous books including "Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism"; "Exporting Democracy: Fulfilling America's Destiny"; "Trailblazers of the Arab Spring: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East"; and "Liberal Oasis: The Truth About Israel."

Joshua Muravchik currently resides in the state of Maryland.

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Product Categories
1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > History & Theory   [667  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
It opened my eyes  May 4, 2008
This book is a must for everyone who --in the best hopes of a Liberal--has looked to socialism and populism as a source of inspiration. It destroys--based on hard performance data--the illusions.
 
Generational Forgetting  Feb 7, 2008
Socialism sounds so friendly! So inviting! Who wouldn't want to be "taken care of" from cradle to grave? Apart from the fact that Socialism and Communism FAIL EVERY TIME THEY ARE TRIED, there's no reason, really. Read this book and find out why each generation has to learn for itself why Socialism fails
 
A terrific survey of the history of socialism that is often glossed over or ignored  Feb 5, 2008
Joshua Muravchik has written a wonderful and informative of the modern incarnation of socialism. He grew up in a socialist household where it served as the family faith and the author had joined a socialist party, but his study of history and careful thinking about the realities versus the promises caused him to lose his faith. This book traces the rise of the movement from Babeuf in France, Robert Owen in England and New Hope, Indiana, Engles, and then Bernstein. It is a fascinating story with various approaches and different orthodoxies that didn't work and play well with the others. This variance and rejection of alternative views became a powerful force in the way socialism spread, grew, and collapsed.

The triumphs around the world in the 20th Century began with Lenin in the USSR, Mussolini in Fascist Italy, Clement Attlee in postwar Britain, and Nyerere with his Ujamaa in Tanzania. But it wasn't to last. The problems always became apparent early and no matter who was blamed or the corrective actions taken, the systems never delivered on their promises. Yes, certain aspects (such as medical care) were implemented, but rationing began early and economic pressures on the countries trying to provide it have steadily increased.

The high water mark of Socialism was the nascent movement in the United States that was driven back in large part by Gompers, Meany, and the Labor Movement in America. Gorbachev changed and then dissolved the USSR, despite his remaining a committed and believing Communist. Deng Xiaoping moved post Mao China to economic reforms despite the Communist Party holds onto aspects of power. And Tony Blair's New Labour renounced key aspects of British Socialism established by the Webbs, Attlee, et al. Muravchik uses the epilogue to show what he says is the one true manifestation of socialism, the Israeli Kibbutz. However, he shows how even that failed despite vast political support and subsidies.

This book is for anyone who wants to learn a largely untaught history of what is still a faith for many. The book covers more ground than I hit in these highlights, but it isn't exhaustive either. There is only so much you can cover in 400 pages. Don't let the socialist believers use their usual pressure tactics to get you to accept their faith. They usually say something along the lines of all developed and educated minds understand the importance of these evolved views. At the same time they attach words like reactionary, and unevolved to those holding to capitalism, free markets, and individual liberty. No matter which you decide to choose, you should read this book first so you have a good grounding in what has actually happened since the French Revolution.

Excellent. Recommended. In fact, I urge you to get and read this book.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
 
An excellent telling of the realities of socialist history that are usually glossed over or ignored  Feb 5, 2008
Joshua Muravchik has written a wonderful and informative of the modern incarnation of socialism. He grew up in a socialist household where it served as the family faith and the author had joined a socialist party, but his study of history and careful thinking about the realities versus the promises caused him to lose his faith. This book traces the rise of the movement from Babeuf in France, Robert Owen in England and New Hope, Indiana, Engles, and then Bernstein. It is a fascinating story with various approaches and different orthodoxies that didn't work and play well with the others. This variance and rejection of alternative views became a powerful force in the way socialism spread, grew, and collapsed.

The triumphs around the world in the 20th Century began with Lenin in the USSR, Mussolini in Fascist Italy, Clement Attlee in postwar Britain, and Nyerere with his Ujamaa in Tanzania. But it wasn't to last. The problems always became apparent early and no matter who was blamed or the corrective actions taken, the systems never delivered on their promises. Yes, certain aspects (such as medical care) were implemented, but rationing began early and economic pressures on the countries trying to provide it have steadily increased.

The high water mark of Socialism was the nascent movement in the United States that was driven back in large part by Gompers, Meany, and the Labor Movement in America. Gorbachev changed and then dissolved the USSR, despite his remaining a committed and believing Communist. Deng Xiaoping moved post Mao China to economic reforms despite the Communist Party holds onto aspects of power. And Tony Blair's New Labour renounced key aspects of British Socialism established by the Webbs, Attlee, et al. Muravchik uses the epilogue to show what he says is the one true manifestation of socialism, the Israeli Kibbutz. However, he shows how even that failed despite vast political support and subsidies.

This book is for anyone who wants to learn a largely untaught history of what is still a faith for many. The book covers more ground than I hit in these highlights, but it isn't exhaustive either. There is only so much you can cover in 400 pages. Don't let the socialist believers use their usual pressure tactics to get you to accept their faith. They usually say something along the lines of all developed and educated minds understand the importance of these evolved views. At the same time they attach words like reactionary, and unevolved to those holding to capitalism, free markets, and individual liberty. No matter which you decide to choose, you should read this book first so you have a good grounding in what has actually happened since the French Revolution.

Excellent. Recommended. In fact, I urge you to get and read this book.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
 
As narrowminded as some of the people it critiques  Jan 3, 2008
The book wasn't very well written, didnt fully examine Socialist ethos, just at attempts to create so called Socialist societies (state-Socialist), which bare little resemblance to real socialist thought.

Every single good reform that have progressed us in the last 100+ years has been Socialist inspired; bad governments happen when Socialists try to transform society, but the Socialist contribution to making Capitalism humane and bearable for those in the West at least is undeniable.

Do not forget that 6 million children alone die of hunger each year... just like the Soviet privileged bureaucrats the free-market isnt exactly allocating resources right either!

State-Socialism is dead... thank god, but Capitalism is in need of serious reform and if humanity is ever to overcome all forms of scarcity, like hunger and homelessness we may need to attempt to reinvent ourselves, at least to a degree, for a more just and fair future.
 

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