Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Seminar 10

Communism vs. Fascism

  • How did the communists explain the rise of fascism?
  • What is the 'third period'?
  • What was the rationale behind denouncing the social democrats as social fascists in 1928 and attempting to create a Popular Front in 1935?


'Theses of the Tenth ECCI Plenum on the international situation and the tasks of the Communist International', 1 July 1929, (extracts), in: The Communist International: Documents, ed. by Jane Degras, vol. 3: 1919-1943 (1964), pp. 39-52.

Essential Reading

Suny, Ronald G., The Soviet Experiment (New York, Oxford, 1998), pp. 291-308. You can borrow an electronic version of the book here. You will need to register with but it is worth it. Please borrow the book only for one hour at a time.

Kozlov, Nicholas N. and Eric D. Weitz, ‘Reflections on the Origins of the ‘Third Period’: Bukharin, the Comintern, and the Political Economy of Weimar Germany’, Journal of Contemporary History, 24 (1989), pp. 387-410. JSTOR

Haslam, Jonathan, ‘The Comintern and the Origins of the Popular Front 1934-1935’, The Historical Journal, 22 (1979), pp. 673-691. JSTOR

Additional Reading

Thorpe, Andrew, ‘Comintern ‘Control’ of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1920-43’, The English Historical Review, 113 (1998), pp. 637-662. JSTOR

McDermott, K., ‘Stalinist Terror in the Comintern: New Perspectives’, Journal of Contemporary History, 30 (1995), pp. 111-130. JSTOR

Haslam, Jonathan, ‘The Soviet Union, the Comintern and the Demise of the Popular Front 1936-1939’, in H. Graham and P. Preston (eds), The Popular Front in Europe (London, 1987), pp. 152-160.

McDermott, K. and J. Agnew (eds), The Comintern: A History of International Communism from Lenin to Stalin (London, 1996).

Borkenau, Franz, World Communism: A History of the Communist International (Ann Arbor, 1962).

Carr, E.H., The Twilight of Comintern, 1930-1935 (London, 1982).

Haslam, Jonathan, Soviet Foreign Policy, 1930/1933: The Impact of Depression (London and New York, 1983)

Haslam, Jonathan, The Soviet Union and the Search for Collective Security, 1933-1939 (London and New York, 1984).

Spriano, Paolo, Stalin and the European Communists (London, 1985).

Gruber, Helmut (ed.), Soviet Russia Masters the Comintern: International Communism in the Era of Stalin’s Ascdendancy (New York, 1974).

McKenzie, Kermit E., Comintern and World Revolution, 1928-1943: The Shaping of Doctrine (London, New York, 1963).

Narinsky, Mikhail and Jürgen Rojahn, Centre and Periphery: The History of the Comintern in the Light of New Documents (Amsterdam, 1996).