A study of Communism and a history of the myth of Communism as perpetuated by its admirers. Francois Furet illuminates how the support for Communism and its embodiment, the Soviet Union, became virtually synonymous with "anti-Fascism" and how this strategic arrangement reverberated through the West. During the first half of the 20th century, to be against the Soviet Union (and its Communism), argues Furet, was tantamount to betraying the fight against Fascism, despite the fact that both Fascism and Communism ultimately spring from the same nationalist impulse. Thus the struggle against Fascism resulted in the sanitizing or glorification of Communism. This whitewashing of the Soviet regime's excesses not only kept alive the myth and attractiveness of the Communist promise but had complex moral, intellectual, and political ramifications for the West. This book is a history of the ideological passions that have fueled and characterized the modern era. It serves as an effort to revise the understanding of the 20th century at the "fin de siecle".