The Coming Defeat of Communism
New York: The John Day Company, 1950. First edition. Octavo. Original black cloth and dust jacket (not price-clipped). Toning to front free endpaper with minor rubbing to dust jacket, particularly at crown of spine, else very bright. Near-fine in near-fine dust jacket. Item #2
Superb first edition of the work that helped establish James Burnham (1905–1987) as one of America’s most ardent cold warriors. After publishing his groundbreaking work of elite theory, The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World, in 1941, and following the conclusion of World War II, Burnham published his Cold War trilogy—The Struggle for the World (1947), The Coming Defeat of Communism (1950), and Containment or Liberation? (1953)—in which he examined the spread and influence of global communism and advocated for communism’s unconditional defeat around the world. Burnham fervently opposed policies of containment or appeasement, and argued in The Coming Defeat of Communism that what is needed is a form of political-subversive warfare—a program of opposition and struggle rooted in political, not military, strategy and institutions. The Coming Defeat of Communism sets forth Burnham’s analysis of the communist threat and his proposal for defeating it across the globe through the use of political institutions and policies. Burnham’s Cold War trilogy helped to establish him as a prominent geopolitician, strategist, and committed opponent of communism, and The Coming Defeat of Communism shows Burnham at his strategic best. In 1955 Burnham would help to found National Review with William F. Buckley Jr. and, from its pages, would lead the conservative intellectual movement in its long struggle against communism.