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Table of Contents

Foreword, by David Engerman Further Reading in English Explanation of some Terms and Names Introduction, Richard Crossman, M.P. Part I: The Initiates Arthur Koestler Ignazio Silone Richard Wright Part II: Worshipers from Afar Andre Gide, foreword by Dr. Enid Starkie Louis Fischer Stephen Spender

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This classic work and crucial document of the Cold War brings together essays by six of the most important writers of the twentieth century, including Andre Gide, Richard Wright, Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, Arthur Koestler, and Louis Fischer, on their conversion to and subsequent disillusionment with communism. In describing their own experiences, the authors illustrate the fate of leftism around the world.

About the Author

Richard Crossman (1907-74) was a leader in the British Labour Party, serving in the Cabinet from 1964 until 1970. David C. Engerman is assistant professor of history at Brandeis University.


Canterbury Tales of the 20th century. Time The moving power of their several chronicles derives not merely from the unity of the theme embodied in significant variations but also from the reader's sense that they are recording a tragedy in which all of us have been involved. -- Reinhold Niebuhr The Nation The story of the emotions which drew such men to Communism and of the events which disillusioned them states concretely and compellingly the great issues of our time. The Saturday Review of Literature Worth reading, and rereading, for its interest both as a classic historical document and as a haunting object lesson. -- Norman Podhoretz Encounter An important contribution to our understanding of Communism in its full dimensions and awful depths. New York Herald Tribune This book is an engrossing study of why men join a Communist party and the reasons why they are eventually compelled to resign... Engerman has done an admirable job of explaining the context of this work. -- Donald F. Busky The Historian

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