Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism by Joshua MuravchikHeaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism by Joshua Muravchik

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

byJoshua Muravchik

Paperback | November 1, 2003

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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.
Joshua Muravchik lives in Maryland with his family.
Title:Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of SocialismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:391 pages, 8.92 × 6.7 × 1.24 inPublished:November 1, 2003Publisher:Encounter BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1893554783

ISBN - 13:9781893554788

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ!!! Undoubtedly there are many reviews on sites such as this, stating “must-read,” urging people to read different books, but Joshua Muravchik’s book on socialism is one of those books that must be in the shelves of any history and political connoisseur. Socialism can be compared to any major religion in the world; it has its virtues and its vices. However secular-humanist such as myself would argue that just like religion, its vices perhaps overshadows its virtues. In his book, Muravchik sews an informative tapestry of socialism through the lives and ideas of many thinkers and writers. From Babeuf to Robert Owen; from one of the most radical and world-changing friendships in history of Marx and Engels to the rise of Lenin in Russia; from ugly fascism of Mussolini to benign social democracy of Atlee in London; from Project “Ujamma” of Neyerere in Africa to difficult-to-define socialism of Deng Xiaoping and Gorbachev; and then from Thatcherite-socialism of Blair to the end of “true” socialism in Kibbutz, Muravchik illustrates everything in less than 400 pages. The primary problem with reading books on the history of political ideologies is that they tend to be either esoteric or highly partisan, but the author of this book is not partisan, and provides a fine and highly-readable narrative of facts. Very highly recommended!
Date published: 2012-05-01

Editorial Reviews

"In this sweeping and accessible survey, Muravchik places his focus on the personalities who determined the shifting fortunes of socialism."