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I Believed - The Autobiography of a Former British Communist Hardcover – 1952

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: REPRINT SOCIETY; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (1952)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006DA790
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 12.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

I Believed - the Autobiography of a Former British Communist

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This was a fascinating read. It charts both the personal journey of a communist as well as the political journey which communism itself has the patience to undertake.

Hyde writes well, though there are times which drag on a little bit, and the style is engaging and keeps one reading throughout. One feels his ideological fervour early on, and one understands the attractions of communism. But what would have been an interesting avenue to explore is the unquestioning and blind dedication that is a common feature of most of Marxism's adherents.

Hyde was clearly an intelligent man, but it sounds as if he only started really questioning the internal and external contradictions of Marxism after many years of service to the cause. It is that blind acceptance of something that is "rational" and yet not "reasonable" which is one of the most chilling aspects. Communism is defined by the maxim: "The ends justify the means". The end in question is a soviet super state, covering the world's land mass, and involving all human beings. The view is that communism is the ideal state of mankind, and so regardless of how you get there it will be worth it. The methods involved in getting there will be justified. But what if those ends are never met? What if it is not certain that those ends will ever be met? Can the means be justified then? Can the suffering of millions be justified if it is not even certain that this perfect reality will ever be fully realised?

These are questions and doubts that die-hard comrades of communists brush aside due to their utter surety of success. Their unwavering belief (and it is a belief, mind you) that the Revolution will come and all men will be equal and in harmony.
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Format: Hardcover
Hyde was a high ranking and dedicated member of the Communist Party in Britain during World War Two. As his daughter began to grow up he found himself increasingly questioning the amoral cynicism of his party and its ideology. Given the task of smearing Catholic Distributists such as GK Chesterton, he studied the writings of such non-Marxist opponents of capitalism and found them making increasing sense.
The book chronicles his journey from Marxist fanatic to Catholic convert and anti-communist campaigner. In passing, it captures the spirit both of the times and of any self-styled revolutionary party. Dated in some respects at first sight, the fact is that the Marxist fanaticism that Hyde ends by condemning is unfortunately alive and well in the guise of Political Correctness. Hence the author's story is still relevent today - especially as the global credit crunch encourages a new generation to look for alternatives to capitalism. Hyde shows, from direct personal experience, why Marxism is no such alternative.An easy read and well worth a couple of quid if you're interested in history, politics or social science.
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Format: Hardcover
Well written and logical exposition of a dialectical approach, fairly outlining pros as well as cons. Some of the medievalist nonsense is annoying and the apologia for wartime fascists (presented as regrets for the authors former anti-fascist enthusiasm) is slightly sickening. Hyde came to 'turn again' later in life - which adds to the interest. I have two copies just in case I ever fail to get back one I loan out!
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Format: Hardcover
The condition of the book was as much as could be expeceted with it being second hand - readable and clean and sound from cover to cover. I have read the book before several years ago but the recent Tommy Sheridan trial sparked my interest as douglas Hyde says a lot of relevan tthings regarding the communist/left wing/socialist mind set and morality. I have still to read the book through for a second time but am looking forward to it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x95ff6f6c) out of 5 stars 1 review
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961342ac) out of 5 stars An Incredibly Gifted and Energetic Zealot 5 April 2011
By David Toronto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was extremely fortunate to come across Douglas Hyde's memoir entitled "I Believed" some years ago. This book will be of intense interest to anyone who wishes to understand how someone can commit all of their time, resources, relationships and youth to a dogmatic cause. In the same way that many Nazis, Bolsheviks, radical Islamists and other kinds of fascists, religious and otherwise, are prepared to give their lives for their causes, Douglas Hyde literally gave everything he had for the establishment of a communist state in Britain. He eventually started seeing the moral cracks in his adopted ideology and came to replace it with a gentler one: Christianity. Hyde came to his communist faith during the 1930s when little was known about the brutality of Stalinist Russia and when many well-meaning people were looking for some answer for the economic and political upsets during the Depression and the years leading up to and through the Second World War. Hyde was an exceptionally gifted and capable man whose memoir reminds me somewhat of Kim Philby's. "I Believed" is a reminder to all of us about the importance of a stable and just economy and political system, and how intelligent and committed people can end up wasting their lives and talents on false doctrines in an honest effort to help find a solution.
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