In this fresh appraisal of communism and anti-communism, with an emphasis on the American case, respected scholar Michael E. Brown examines the methods, controversies and difficulties involved in writing the history of communism. Arguing that one important way of understanding communism-other than as a concrete political or ideological force-is as an expression of an essentially reflexive aspect of society that typically manifests itself in social movements. In this regard, Brown understands the history of communism as part of the history of society. Examining works by E.P. Thompson, Kar.