Lethal Politics

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Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder since 1917
Author R.J. Rummel
Country United States
Subject Communism, Soviet Union, Totalitarianism, Genocide
Genre Political history
Publisher Transaction Publishers
Publication date
Pages 268
ISBN 0-88738-333-5

Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder since 1917 is an influential book by R.J. Rummel, published by Transaction Publishers in 1990 during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book examines genocides and mass murders perpetrated by the Soviet regime from the days of Vladimir Lenin until the last years of the Cold War, with an emphasis on the Joseph Stalin regime.[1][2]

Rummel's central theory was that citizens of totalitarian, especially Marxist systems, were most likely to be killed by their government, whereas "democratic systems provide a path to peace, and universalizing them would eliminate war and minimize global, political violence."[3]



  1. ^ Review by Tamas Meszerics, Journal of Communist Studies, 7(4), 1991, p. 579
  2. ^ Review by Geoffrey Swain, Slavonic and East European Review, 69(4), 1991, p. 765-66
  3. ^ R.J. Rummel, Preface to Lethal Politics