Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism

Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism

Blackshirts & Reds explores some of the big issues of our time: fascism, capitalism, communism, revolution, democracy, and ecology—terms often bandied about but seldom explored in the original and exciting way that has become Michael Parenti’s trademark.

Parenti shows how “rational fascism” renders service to capitalism, how corporate power undermines democracy, and how revolutions are a mass empowerment against the forces of exploitative privilege. He also maps out the external and internal forces that destroyed communism, and the disastrous impact of the “free-market” victory on eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He affirms the relevance of taboo ideologies like Marxism, demonstrating the importance of class analysis in understanding political realities and dealing with the ongoing collision between ecology and global corporatism.

Written with lucid and compelling style, this book goes beyond truncated modes of thought, inviting us to entertain iconoclastic views, and to ask why things are as they are. It is a bold and entertaining exploration of the epic struggles of yesterday and today.

"A penetrating and persuasive writer with an astonishing array of documentation to implement his attacks."—The Catholic Journalist

"Blackshirts & Reds discusses the great combat between fascism and socialism that is the defining feature of the Twentieth Century, and takes every official version to task for its substitution of moral analysis for critical analysis, for its selectivity, and for its errata. By portraying the struggle between fascism and Communism in this century as a single conflict, and not a series of discrete encounters, between the insatiable need for new capital on the one hand and the survival of a system under siege on the other, Parenti defines fascism as the weapon of capitalism, not simply an extreme form of it. Fascism is not an aberration, he points out, but a "rational" and integral component of the system."—Stan Goff, The Prism

Michael Parenti, PhD Yale, is an internationally known author and lecturer. He is one of the nation's leadiing progressive political analysts. He is the author of over 275 published articles and twenty books. His writings are published in popular periodicals, scholarly journals, and his op-ed pieces have been in leading newspapers such as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. His informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad.

Title:Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780872863293
Format Type:

    Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism Reviews

  • tom bomp

    Best chapters: 6, 7, 8, 9. 6 and 7 show really well just how disastrous the end of socialism was and 8 and 9 are a pretty good introduction to/defence of Marxism as a way of understanding the world (a...

  • ????

    Surprisingly disappointing, and I say this as someone who agrees with virtually everything Parenti says in this book. The most frustrating aspect of his writing is how infrequently he uses citations. ...

  • Chris

    A great offering by Parenti. Written with argumentative clarity and devoid of theoretical jargon, this book responds to both the anti-communist left and right. I recommend this book as a great foundat...

  • Linton

    A must read for anyone with a political interest. This work defends Marxism against its most commom criticisms from anti-Communists both right and left wing. Additionally the work looks at what occurr...

  • Jordan

    While people run to buy Orwell's 1984 in the wake of the re-emergence of hard right or fascist power around the world, they would be better served to read Parenti instead. This book is essential and s...

  • A

    Magnificent. This is something you can suggest to people who want to start reading leftist literature. ...

  • Abhilash

    Michael Parenti is a voice of sanity in these dark times when there exists a not-too-small section of self-important, self-indulgent intellectuals who pretend to be on the Left and are too quick to be...

  • Doug

    Hard to put down. Fascinating discussion of several Cold War angles on the overthrow of communism not to be touched elsewhere. Great, short, very readable intro on many points. Will be too taboo for s...

  • Vivek Singh

    Parenti is an author who stays away from academic clusterfuck language and anyone can understand his points as it should be. This is a must read...

  • abclaret

    It as be said that the political right (and to some extent the centre) have it easy. They just have to maintain the power they get and prove to be capable rulers. For revolutionary-leftwing politics t...