Magazine May 6, 2019, Issue

Socialism’s Life after Death

Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, England, September 26, 2018. (Phil Noble/Reuters)
Heaven on Earth: The Rise, Fall, and Afterlife of Socialism, by Joshua Muravchik (Encounter Books 424 pp., $18.99)

The volume here reviewed is the second edition of a book first published in 2002. I reviewed it favorably (with some reservations) in 2003. A good case can be made for the new edition, given the survival of socialist ideals and the persisting disagreements about their nature and realizability. It remains of interest why people in different parts of the world are still attracted to these ideals and why the same ideals have been so difficult to implement. Of special interest is what Joshua Muravchik calls the “afterlife” of socialism — what happened to these ideals and political aspirations after

This article appears as “Whose Socialism?” in the May 6, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Paul HollanderMr. Hollander was a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. His most recent book is From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez: Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship.

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