18 February 2007

Darkness at noon - Arthur Koestler


Date: February 18, 2007
Recommendation: Poignant, gripping - an acerbic analysis of Stalinist Soviet Union

For most of my readers (at least the ones of whom I'm aware), this book was not be of any interest. However, if you are looking for a revolutionary manifesto, or a book on Bolshevik mentality, Darkness at noon is fascinating, not to mention thought provoking.

The book itself deals with the character of Rubashov, who we find has been imprisoned for his counter-revolutionary thoughts. Although it is never specifically mentioned, Rubashov is clearly an "Old Bolshevik", one of many who were condemned and put to death during the Moscow trials of the 1930s, when Number 1 - Stalin - purged the Communist Party of dissidents. In essence, Stalin eliminated the old guard, to ensure loyalty from the the younger members. The novel essentially consists of Rubashov's dialectic musings on the state of and philosophy of the Communist state. A must read for the revolutionary-minded!