100 books like The Seven Days of Creation

By Vladimir Maximov,

Here are 100 books that The Seven Days of Creation fans have personally recommended if you like The Seven Days of Creation. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Origins of Totalitarianism

Claas Florian Engelke Author Of The Practice of Ethical Leadership: Insights from Psychology and Business in Building an Ethical Bottom Line

From my list on refine your ethical leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have more than 20 years of experience in the field of leadership development and assessment. I am a trained theologian and English/German linguist, and I hold a passion for the more fundamental questions concerning the human condition. In my business consulting practice, I invite clients to become better versions of themselves and to transform their organizations as well as societies by consciously adhering to doing the right thing. 

Claas' book list on refine your ethical leadership

Claas Florian Engelke Why did Claas love this book?

I recommend Arendt’s book for its guidance in helping readers interpret signs of totalitarianism—a growing concern in today’s civil society. Arendt is a pivotal thinker and an inspiring source of first-hand experience when it comes to fascist regimes.

This is an absolute must-read if we hope to prevent fascism from emerging once again.

By Hannah Arendt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Origins of Totalitarianism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism—an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history.

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses…


Book cover of The Russian Tradition

Keir Giles Author Of Moscow Rules: What Drives Russia to Confront the West

From my list on why Russia is the way it is.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional explainer of Russia. For over 20 years I’ve been studying the country and trying to understand what makes it (and its leaders and people) so intent on attacking those around it and perceived adversaries further afield. That’s never been more important to understand than today when Ukraine and its soldiers are the only thing preventing Russia from once again rampaging across Europe. These books are ones that have helped me understand one part or several parts of the Russia problem, and I think they’ll be helpful for anybody else who wants to, too.

Keir's book list on why Russia is the way it is

Keir Giles Why did Keir love this book?

I found the first 100 pages of this book, covering Russia’s early history, to be the clearest explanation anywhere of how the country has developed – or failed to – the way it has.

It was published in 1974, so the frame of reference is the Soviet Union – but the way Tibor Szamuely drew on Russia’s early history to explain the present day is just as valid for post-Communist Russia. That proves the point: that Russia is condemned by its own history, and no social or political upheaval to date has enabled it to break free from that trap and move forward to be a country that can co-exist with others. 

By Tibor Szamuely,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Russian Tradition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This analysis of Russian history traces the essential features of Revolutionary Russia back to medieval times when authoritarian rule first became a prerequisite of survival and is intended as a contribution to our understanding of the Soviet Union.


Book cover of Vekhi: Landmarks

David Satter Author Of Never Speak to Strangers and Other Writing from Russia and the Soviet Union

From my list on understanding the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the Soviet Union. He has been affiliated with the Hudson Institute and the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is presently a member of the academic advisory board of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

David's book list on understanding the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia

David Satter Why did David love this book?

In a vain effort to prevent the disaster they knew was coming, Russia’s leading religious philosophers in 1909 called on the increasingly radical Russian intelligentsia to return to religion as a means of grounding the individual. The philosopher, Nikolai Beryaev wrote that the intelligentsia sought a universal theory but was only ready to accept one that supported their social goals. They, therefore, denied man’s absolute significance. Bogdan Kistyakovsky wrote that the intelligentsia’s attraction to formalism and bureaucracy as well as its faith in the omnipotence of rules contained the seeds of a future police state. The authors of the various essays in this classic book, in fact, foresaw all of the characteristics of the future Soviet police state that arose out of the drive of Russian radicals to create “heaven on earth.”

By Nikolei Berdiaev, Sergei Bulgakov, Mikhail Gershenson , A.S. Izgoev , Bogdan Kistiakovskii , Petr Struve , Frank Semen

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vekhi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A collection of essays first published in Moscow in 1909. Writing from various points of view, the authors reflect the diverse experiences of Russia's failed 1905 revolution. Condemned by Lenin and rediscoverd by dissidents, this translation has relevance for discussions on contemporary Russia.


Book cover of Moscow - 2042

David Satter Author Of Never Speak to Strangers and Other Writing from Russia and the Soviet Union

From my list on understanding the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the Soviet Union. He has been affiliated with the Hudson Institute and the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is presently a member of the academic advisory board of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

David's book list on understanding the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia

David Satter Why did David love this book?

Vladimir Voinovich was probably the greatest Russian satirical writer since Gogol. After the fall of the U.S.S.R., he was asked if it was still possible to write satire in Russia. He insisted that it was. “The Soviet Union was a giant mental hospital but it was organized,” he explained. “Now, the inmates have been told that they can do whatever they want. So Russia is funnier than ever.”

In this novel, published in 1986, Voinovich demonstrated his stunning ability to divine the future. He described a new Russian regime dominated by state security and based not on Marxism-Leninism but on the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Like Russia today, the regime of his novel tells its citizens that they are surrounded by “three rings of hostility.” The first is the former Soviet republics; the second, the former Soviet satellites, the third, the West – the former “capitalist enemy.” This makes…

By Vladimir Voinovich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moscow - 2042 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this satire that pokes fun at the future of communism, socialist life, and the Kremlin, an exiled Soviet writer enters a time warp and lands in Moscow in the year 2042.


Book cover of The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953

Stephen Gowans Author Of Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea's Struggle for Freedom

From my list on to understand the DPRK.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in North Korea in 2002 when the George W. Bush administration declared the country to be part of an Axis of Evil, along with Iraq and Iran. Bush had lied about Iraq, to justify a war against that country, and I wondered what evidence, if any, his administration had that North Korea was either evil or part of an axis. The answer was none. Bush was able to propagate one North Korean myth after another because the public knew very little about the country. I wished to give people some background so they could make sense of what they were reading and hearing about North Korea in the news and social media.

Stephen's book list on to understand the DPRK

Stephen Gowans Why did Stephen love this book?

Leffler’s book is about much more than North Korea, but it covers world events that are critical to understanding the communist Korean state, its birth, and its conflict with the United States. I drew heavily on Leffler’s work in my own book to place North Korea within the context of surrounding geopolitical developments.

By Melvyn P. Leffler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Specter of Communism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Examines the origins and history of the Cold War


Book cover of Gleaning for Communism: The Soviet Socialist Household in Theory and Practice

Brandon M. Schechter Author Of The Stuff of Soldiers: A History of the Red Army in World War II Through Objects

From my list on books about Soviet stuff.

Why am I passionate about this?

Things have always been a window into the past for me, and from an early age I was fascinated by communism as a rejection of the world in which I was raised. Looking at how people from a very different society made and used stuff allows you to access aspects of their experience that are deeply human. As such my research has focused on how people interacted with things as a way to examine how politics, ideology, and major historical events play out on the ground – as a way of capturing individual human experience.

Brandon's book list on books about Soviet stuff

Brandon M. Schechter Why did Brandon love this book?

Cherkaev also offers us a series of amazing stories informed by theory but written in a highly readable fashion. Many of her cases are about things that weren’t supposed to exist – about the stuff gleaned from the Soviet economy that allowed people to go on expeditions into nature, bury their loved ones, and make do in an economy infamous for its shortages.

You meet a lot of fascinating people, and she throws in some very provocative, well-argued, and cogently written discussion of the Soviet leadership’s changing understanding of how to build communism and the place of stuff in the project and its aftermath.

My consistent criticism of this book is that it ends too quickly – I wanted at least fifty more pages of Cherkaev’s witty prose and fascinating tales. 

By Xenia A. Cherkaev,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gleaning for Communism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gleaning for Communism is a historical ethnography of the property regime upon which Soviet legal scholars legislated a large modern state as a household, with guaranteed rights to a commons of socialist property, rather than private possessions. Starting with former Leningrad workers' everyday stories about smuggling industrial scrap home over factory fences, Xenia Cherkaev traces collectivist ethical logic that was central to this socialist household economy, in theory and practice: from its Stalin-era inception, through Khrushchev's major foregrounding of communist ethics, to Gorbachev's perestroika, which unfurled its grounding tension between the interests of any given collective and of the socialist…


Book cover of Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America

Neal Thompson Author Of Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991

From my list on America’s path through the Cold War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I entered the United States Army in August 1970, two months after graduation from high school, completed flight school on November 1971, and served a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot in Troop F (Air), 8th US Cavalry, 1st Aviation Brigade. After my discharge, I served an additional 28 years as a helicopter pilot in the Illinois National Guard, retiring in 2003. I graduated from Triton Junior College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University Law School in 1981. My passion for this subject arises, as one would expect, from my status as a veteran. My expertise is based on my own experience and 16 years of research and writing that went into the preparation of my book.

Neal's book list on America’s path through the Cold War

Neal Thompson Why did Neal love this book?

Starting in World War II, American cryptanalysts broke Soviet codes and determined that hundreds of Americans working for the Soviet Union were active within the federal government during the New Deal and throughout the Second World War. Code named Venona, this operation was a closely guarded secret until declassification in 1996. When these intercepts were combined with information acquired from Soviet archives after the collapse of the USSR, they revealed not only a massive penetration of American government, science, and industry by Soviet spies but an American Communist Party that had assisted in these efforts, serving as an arm of Soviet intelligence. In other words (quoting American Communist Party member Alfred Bernstein), “[Joseph] McCarthy was right.” “The system was loaded with Communists.”

By Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Venona as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Only in 1995 did the United States government officially reveal the existence of the super-secret Venona Project. For nearly fifty years American intelligence agents had been decoding thousands of Soviet messages, uncovering an enormous range of espionage activities carried out against the United States during World War II by its own allies. So sensitive was the project in its early years that even President Truman was not informed of its existence. This extraordinary book is the first to examine the Venona messages-documents of unparalleled importance for our understanding of the history and politics of the Stalin era and the early…


Book cover of The Porcupine

Paul Clark Author Of The Price of Dreams

From my list on life in the Soviet Union.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of 16, I briefly joined the International Socialists, a small British Trotskyist party. Though I soon became disillusioned, it was a formative experience that left me with a lifelong fascination with communism and the Soviet Union. Over the following decades, I read everything I could about the subject, both fiction and non-fiction. In the years after the fall of communism, the ideas that eventually culminated in the writing of this book began to form in my head.

Paul's book list on life in the Soviet Union

Paul Clark Why did Paul love this book?

This short novel is not set in the Soviet Union but in an unnamed post-Communist country that bears a striking resemblance to Bulgaria. The central character is the deposed Communist dictator, on trial for his crimes. The story is seen through his eyes, and he paints himself not as a villain but a misunderstood hero, a man who devoted his life to building socialism and a better life for his people. I know of no other book that is so good at getting into the head of a former dictator.

By Julian Barnes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Porcupine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending trains his laser-bright prose on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.

Stoyo Petkanov, the deposed Party leader, is placed on trial for crimes that range from corruption to political murder. Petkanov's guilt—and the righteousness of his opponents—would seem to be self-evident. But, as brilliantly imagined by Barnes, the trial of this cunning and unrepentant dictator illuminates the shadowy frontier between the rusted myths of the Communist past and a capitalist future in which everything is up for grabs.


Book cover of Red Plenty

Mark Harrison Author Of Secret Leviathan: Secrecy and State Capacity under Soviet Communism

From my list on working inside Soviet communism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I visited Moscow for the first time in 1964. The Cold War was in full swing. I was still at school, learning beginners' Russian. I returned a few years later as a graduate student. By this point I was hopelessly infected with an incurable and progressive disease: curiosity about the Soviet Union under communism. I was full of questions, many of which could not be answered for decades, until communist rule collapsed. Becoming a professional scholar, I spent the next half-century studying the history, economics, and politics of communist societies. The biggest obstacle was always secrecy, so it seems fitting that the system of secrecy is the topic of my most recent book.

Mark's book list on working inside Soviet communism

Mark Harrison Why did Mark love this book?

This is the best (to be fair, the only) English-language novel about how the Soviet economy was supposed to work and how it actually worked in the 1950s and 1960s. (The author says it is “not a novel” but a Russian fairytale.)

I was reluctant to read it, and expected to find fault with it, but I found it both moving and utterly convincing. It has all the ingredients of a war story: the various characters are trying to survive, to find love, to protect their families, to serve the nation, or to better humanity, while being ground between the wheels of great-power politics and everyday existence.

The book’s only omission (I learned later, after years of research) is that it does not account sufficiently for the role of the secret police in Soviet-era workplace surveillance and the selection of managers.

By Francis Spufford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red Plenty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Bizarre and quite brilliant.' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

'Thrilling.' Michael Burleigh, Sunday Telegraph

'Francis Spufford has one of the most original minds in contemporary literature.' Nick Hornby

The Soviet Union was founded on a fairytale. It was built on 20th-century magic called 'the planned economy', which was going to gush forth an abundance of good things that the penny-pinching lands of capitalism could never match. And just for a little while, in the heady years of the late 1950s, the magic seemed to be working.

Red Plenty is about that moment in history, and how it came, and how it…


Book cover of Communism in Hollywood: The Moral Paradoxes of Testimony, Silence, and Betrayal

Brian Neve Author Of Film and Politics in America: A Social Tradition

From my list on Hollywood blacklist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago, as part of my research, I interviewed Elia Kazan and Abraham Polonsky, two key figures in the blacklist story, and two men who were on different sides in terms of how they responded to the postwar Congressional investigations. These personal encounters – in New York and Los Angeles – fed a fascination with the anti-Communist purge in Hollywood, its dramaturgy, and the way filmmakers of that generation were caught up in it in different ways. There are more specialized works but the books recommended provide a substantive introduction to this still globally resonant topic, calling attention to the problematic and still difficult relationships between citizenship and cultural identity.

Brian's book list on Hollywood blacklist

Brian Neve Why did Brian love this book?

While several books have offered accounts of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings and the blacklist in the entertainment industry, Alan Casty questions liberal perspectives on the subject, and develops a distinctive perspective. In particular he challenges what he sees as an overly simple moral take on the actions of those who cooperated with HUAC and those who did not. He discusses the role of the Communist Party in Hollywood and the impact of Cold War politicsand the politics of Stalin and the Soviet Union—on the decisions that politicians and witnesses took. There is particularly interesting material here on Robert Rossen’s experience, as someone who ‘resisted’ the Committee but later cooperated with it. This Is the best account of those that challenge the dominant perspectives in the literature. 

By Alan Casty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Communism in Hollywood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Much has been written about the history of Communism in America, including the Party's appeal to many in the Hollywood community of the 1930s and 40s. While several books have offered standard accounts of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings and the blacklist in the entertainment industry, Alan Casty provides a fresh and provocative perspective. In Communism in Hollywood: The Moral Paradoxes of Testimony, Silence, and Betrayal, Casty challenges the absolute dualisms of the period: cowardly informers and heroic martyrs. Drawing on newly available material, Casty illustrates the control by the international Communist movement and the role of the…


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Interested in the Soviet Union, anti-communism, and communism?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Soviet Union, anti-communism, and communism.

The Soviet Union Explore 344 books about the Soviet Union
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