Paul Hollander, ed., From the Gulag to the Killing Fields: Personal Accounts of Political Violence and Repression in Communist States(Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2006), 761 pp., $35.00.
Paul Hollander, The End of Commitment: Intellectuals, Revolutionaries, and Political Morality(Chicago: Ivan R. Dee Publisher, 2006), 392 pp., $28.95.
IF MORAL clarity graced our times, the publication of Paul Hollander's comprehensive compilation of first-hand accounts by former communist victims, From the Gulag to the Killing Fields, would elicit a collective shudder of horror and sorrow.
"Systematic evil at work: evil without conscience." So does Harvard University professor Harvey Mansfield describe the grotesque crimes the selections illustrate. The book provides "an indispensable experience for the understanding of our times." No wonder it lingered in manuscript for several years: One publisher after another, simply reflecting readers' priorities, turned down the project until finally the Intercollegiate Studies Institute saved the day. Having failed to predict communism's collapse, our political experts now seem eager to forget about it altogether.