There has not been a more acute feeling of political instability that I can remember in my life than there is in the current zeitgeist. I am slightly too young to have experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis but old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall - I was an adult at that time. The fall of the Berlin Wall should have inspired me to study Communism. It didn't though, and as a result, my knowledge in this area is still lacking. I've been catching up over the last decade and I have now read some good writing on the topic. Both Robert Conquest and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn have written enough volume and quality to give anyone a pretty good understanding of what real Communism looks like, and reading them both has been a serious education. Not reading them in my twenties was a serious omission.