The God that Failed

The God That Failed

The God that Failed

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This article is about the 1949 book. For the Metallica song, see The God That Failed ; The title was also used for the 2001 book The God That Failed.




The God That Failed is a 1949 book which collects together six essays with the testimonies of a number of famous ex-communists, who were writers and journalists. The common theme of the essays is the authors' disillusionment with and abandonment of communism. The promotional byline to the book is "Six famous men tell how they changed their minds about Communism."

The six contributors were Louis Fischer, André Gide, Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, and Richard Wright.

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Richard Crossman, the British MP who conceived and edited the volume, at one point approached the famous American ex-communist Whittaker Chambers about contributing an essay to the book. At the time Chambers was still employed by Time magazine, having not yet gone public with his charges against Alger Hiss, and so declined to participate.

The book contains Louis Fischer's definition of "Kronstadt" as the moment in which some communists or fellow-travelers decide not just to leave the Communist Party but to oppose it as anti-communists. Editor Richard Crossman said in the book's introduction: "The Kronstadt rebels called for Soviet power free from Bolshevik dominance" (p. x). After describing the actual Kronstadt rebellion, Fischer spent many pages applying the concept to some subsequent former...
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