Today, most people think of socialism as an outdated ideology. In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Newman seeks to place the idea of socialism in a modern context for today's listeners. He explains socialist ideas in the framework of its historical evolution, from the French Revolution to the present day, and examines practical attempts to implement socialism. Not just another history of socialist ideas, this book aims for a different approach that looks at practice as well as theory - centering on the contrast between Communism and Social Democracy. The relationship between socialism and notions of democracy, freedom, and equality is also discussed. Newman brings the subject entirely up to date by tackling contemporary forms of socialism. While the book's focus is on Europe and the Soviet Union, it is set in a broader geographical context. Newman's fresh approach to the subject enables the listener to re-evaluate socialism.
The Author does a commendable job of condensing modern socialist theory for the general audience. The treatment of 3rd-wave feminism's impact was particularly noteworthy. The relationship between contemporary socialist philosophy and the environmental movement was less thorough. But overall, an excellent analysis.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This book provides an excellent background of the history of socialism, a very good primer for anyone new to its study. It doesn't provide much in terms of the economics of socialism but that doesn't detract from the value of the book.
The reading performance is clear and engaging.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
It's a relatively short listen and ultimately in favor of socialism, but much of the book is dedicated to critiquing socialist economies, both we'll running and failed.
Interesting point is that while discussing most of the failed socialist and communist states, the author spends a fair amount of time relating the events and attitude leading up to the institution and failure of those governments.
All in all, one of the better treatments of socialism I've seen.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Very nice set of insights. I will most definitely read more books on the topic.