The Naked Communist

By W. Cleon Skousen

Synopsis: A book about the basic underlying philosophy, goals, mentality, and progress of Communism (up to the time of last printing in 1971). It gives to the reader the ideology of Communism, stripped of all pretense and propaganda, hence, The Naked Communist. The book contains illustrations by famed artist Arnold Friberg on the cover and at each chapter heading. This book was actually endorsed and commended to the Church by President David O. McKay in the October 1959 General Conference, by saying, "I admonish everybody to read that excellent book."

Strong Points: This book is simple, straightforward, well-organized, hard-hitting, and merciless when it comes to exposing Communism for what it is. While the book was written during the Cold War era, it is nonetheless very applicable to modern ideas of progressivism and the political left. The reader will come away with a clear understanding of what the ideology is about, what motivated its adherents, the strategies used by them to gain ground (which is virtually identical to how the political left spreads its cancerous infection in society today), and what we can do to combat it. Communism may not be the world threat we face today (at least, not in its open Soviet form), but the book is nonetheless instructional, quite relevant, and important enough to read, even in the twenty-first century.

Weak Points: The edition I read is bound beautifully, and is a faithful softcover reprint of the original. Unfortunately, there are a few pages that were bound out of order! A minor irritation, but it had to be vented. Also, the book hinted at it many times, but it never expressly named Darwinism as the fundamental underlying ideology necessary to Communism. It did, however, say that the belief that life is accidental and man is a beast are fundamental to Communist philosophy. I would have also liked it to have contained more info about the atrocities of the Communist regimes in China, etc. And of course, the book is a little dated.

Interesting: 4.3/5

Must Read: 4/5

Overall: 4.5/5


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