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The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century
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The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  65 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century is Zbigniew Brzezinski's prescient analysis of "the terminal crisis of communism." One of the most astute foreign policy experts of our time, Brzezinski argues that the advent of communism was a critical phenomenon in the history of the century. From the Cold War, to the building of the Berlin Wal ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1990 by Collier Books
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Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What would you say if in 1989, 3 years into Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev's reign as General Secretary of the Communist Party and 3 years before the collapse of the USSR, a man wrote a book called "The Grand Failure, the Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century"? What if he got it right, and predicted most of the probable outcomes of the Yeltsin reforms through 2000? Brzezinski is that man - predicting the end of the USSR and the political / economic low point of the Russian Soviet ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazingly prescient, written in 1988. Also a very nice summary of Soviet Russia history. The passages on the former Warsaw Pact nations in the 70's and 80's vis-a-vis the USSR are especially useful.
Makhosonke Collin
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Leninist / Marxists
Recommended to Makhosonke by: nobody
of all the predictions Brzezinski makes in this book the one that looks us straight in the eye is the Chinese model of communism and how he correctly predicted it as the one to survive. I don;t think he could afford to give away the game regarding Afghanistan wrt USSR falling but he makes it clear they were going down.

If you are a Leninist this book should be on your shelf, for frequent doses of humble pie when you get carried away. this is a clear dissection of Leninism and it pummels that theo
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Grand Failure helps you understand Russian and Chinese versions of Communism, their achievements and flaws. The book was written before USSR passed into history, and what is left we know it as Russia. Though Brezezinski did not predict the fall of USSR in clear words, his analysis makes it amply clear that he was looking at the possibility. His observations about Chinese economic rise are more than visible now, hence, Brzezinski's scholarly work has an all time value for generations to come.
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I purchased and read this book in hardback back when it was new - I ran across it tonight in my library and I'd say it's one of the all time more enjoyable books I've ever read. Particularly for when it was published. I remember one of my friends saying it was ridiculous because the USSR would have problems but never fail. Even as things were clearly changing people refused to believe it. It's a great book in my view then and now.
Bún Ốc
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Nếu đọc năm 88 sẽ chỉ cho 3/5. Đọc ở thời điểm hiện tại sẽ xứng đáng 4/5.
Ở một số chương, tác giả phân tích và tiên đoán rất hay mà mình nghĩ một trong những thời điểm tốt nhất để đọc cuốn sách này chính là 25 năm sau khi nó được viết ra.
Có một dự đoán của tác giả rất hay: "Chủ nghĩa cộng sản thương mại có thể thoái hóa thành chủ nghĩa cộng sản tham nhũng", ngay thuật ngữ "chủ nghĩa cộng sản thương mại" cũng đã gợi lên nhiều điều để suy nghĩ.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
top class cold war stuff. Must read for all the inside and the whole perspective about the soviet union during that era. And how hard the west tried to curb it. Also tells about the good and bad of communism and why the socialist philosophy fell steeply because of a certain brilliant yet egotistical figures. Cold War buffs, this is for you!
Mohammed Aiyob
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
an outstanding book that analyses the reasons for Soviet union failure, this book expected the collapse of Soviet union before it actually happen, plenty of good analysis that can be applied on other contexts and similar ideologies. at the end, dictators fail!
Adrian Hunt
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Spring 1989 was a bad time to publish a book looking at the future of Communism. Within months his prognosis for the gradual decline of communism was largely out of date. Interestingly he predicted the likely survival of China as a state capitalist society, managed by the Communist Party.
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Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski was a Polish-American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. Known for his hawkish foreign policy at a time when the Democratic Party was increasingly dovish, he is a foreign policy realist and considered by some to be the Democrats' response to Republican rea ...more
More about Zbigniew Brzeziński

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