communism

13 articles
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The Unknown Soldier

An actor, fresh from prison, attempts to reconnect with his son in 1950s California.

"And he had believed it. Everyone had. Since the day he’d been cast as Lev, Alexi had been aware that he was getting away with something—though, he reasoned, he’d never explicitly lied about anything. He just never told the complete truth. He may have, when asked about his American accent, mentioned the pronunciation workbooks stacked on his family’s kitchen table, as if he, and not just his parents, had pored over them nightly. He may have once, a little drunk at a party, pretended to forget the English words for the pigs in a blanket being passed around. He may have, that night and possibly a few others, begun sentences with, In my country . . . He may have, when asked by the film’s very openly communist director one night over steaks at Musso’s what he thought about Truman, parroted back what he’d overheard at the writers’ table, that he was narrow-minded and ruthless, his doctrine a farce and an affront to civil liberties. He may have, at Stella and Jack’s invitation, attended a number of meetings in their Hancock Park living room, where there may have been some pretty detailed discussions about following their Soviet comrades down whatever path they took. He may have, on one of those evenings, filled out one of the Party membership forms being passed around, simply because everyone else was."

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The American Who Gave His Life to Chairman Mao

Arriving in China at 23, Sidney Rittenberg spent 35 years as a “friend, confidante, translator, and journalist” for the Communist Party’s top leaders. In this interview, he recalls both his friendship with Chairman Mao and the 16 years he spent in solitary confinement.

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Berkeley: What We Didn’t Know

“A curious thing about the United States is that anticommunism has always been far louder and more potent than communism.”

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Heirs of Mao’s Comrades Rise as New Capitalist Nobility

How the ‘princeling’ descendants of Mao’s ‘Eight Immortals’consolidated unimaginable power and wealth in the New China.

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Alone In the Dark

On the “horrible weirdness” of Kim Jung Il’s Korea.

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Stalin’s Daughter Dies at 85

From a childhood in the Kremlin to a trip to New Delhi carrying the ashes of her Indian Communist lover, defection at the U.S. Embassy… “finally to decades of obscurity, wandering and poverty.”

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Ostalgia Trips

On nostalgia for Communism.

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Meltdown

Boris Yeltsin’s right-hand man tells the inside story of the 1991 coup that killed glasnost:

"That scum!" Boris Yeltsin fumed. "It's a coup. We can't let them get away with it."

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Havana: The State Retreats

On the ground to witness Cuba’s last days:

“Either we rectify our course or the time for teetering along on the brink runs out and we go down. And we will go down…[with] the effort of entire generations.”—Raul Castro

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1989!

On the illusion of the inevitable and the revolutions that ended the Eastern Bloc.

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Can you give my son a job?

On China’s modern-day Communist Party and why foundational myths can never be shed.

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Maoists in the Forest

India’s greatest terror threat may not be militants slipping across the Pakistani border, but rather the homegrown Maoist rebels who control the villages of the interior.

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After the Fall

A trip to interview former South Vietnamese premiere Ky on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the reunification of Vietnam ends with government surveillance, partying, and confusion.