If totalitarianism in its classic Stalinist form no longer exists, is this book too late? Not at all, for historical perspective makes it possible for Guy Hermet and his colleagues the better to define, analyze and assess the nature of the beast, to look at it over time and in space. The most interesting pieces are those by Hassner, who writes on changing fashions among Western (chiefly French and American) Sovietologists in explaining the nature of the system in the U.S.S.R., and by Rupnik, who speaks for those in Eastern Europe who find their liberty stifled by a totalitarianism as effective as ever even though no longer ruling by terror.
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