Books: Joseph Stalin Lives

THE TOTALITARIAN TEMPTATION by JEAN-FRANCOIS REVEL 311 pages. Doubleday. $8.95.

The pattern has become classic: a nation emerges from the colonial yoke, lustily declares its independence—and then succumbs to the totalitarian mode. French Philosopher Jean-Francis Revel, author of Without Marx or Jesus, tries to analyze this alarming trend in a book filled with mordant wit and intensity. As a kind of historical prosecuting attorney, Revel puts Joseph Stalin in the dock, then offers witnesses to the crime of totalitarianism. It was the murderous Russian dictator who showed the 20th century how to construct a hermetically sealed tyranny, says Revel. It is the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!