This book could have been a lot longer. It could not have been any shorter, though: it takes a brick of a book to really provide the crushing scope of this murderous ideology, and the authors have slowly, methodically, relentlessly added example after example to put in display, naked, a monster that killed tens of millions in the 20th Century and that will continue to kill (one hopes in a far smaller scale) in the 21st until it wastes itself out and vanishes. Communism became religion and state and proceeded to murder away as if the body count meant better chances of achieving that utopian society it pretended to aim at. We now know the absolute disasters that all Communist societies were -and are-, but this book is necessary as a ready reference work on evil that should be next to to William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." Communism has managed to kill more than 100 million people, and this estimate is actually quite conservative: Solzhenitsyn puts the figure at 60 million in the former Soviet Union alone; Roy Medvedev opts for 40 million dead just under Stalin, not counting those who died because of World War II. Nobody really knows how many millions were murdered by Mao. Many historians and writers had told us parts of this sad tale: Milovan Djilas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Robert Conquest, W.S. Kuniczak, Aino Kuusinen, Armando Valladares, Roy Medvedev, Dmitri Volkogonov, and others, so many, indeed, that a complete list would require several pages. But the authors of "The Black Book of Communism" do what none of the other authors had done before: they provide us with a total view of malignity, proving that, from Russia to Korea, from China to Cuba, from Africa to Europe, Communism was, indeed, a cancer. An excellent and necessary work.