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The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willy Münzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West

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A committed Communist and a tireless con-man, Lenin’s friend and the Soviet Union’s most persuasive myth-maker, Willy Münzenberg changed the course of European history Willy Münzenberg—an Old Bolshevik who was also a self-promoting tycoon—became one of the most influential Communist operatives in Europe between the World Wars. He created a variety of front groups that recr A committed Communist and a tireless con-man, Lenin’s friend and the Soviet Union’s most persuasive myth-maker, Willy Münzenberg changed the course of European history Willy Münzenberg—an Old Bolshevik who was also a self-promoting tycoon—became one of the most influential Communist operatives in Europe between the World Wars. He created a variety of front groups that recruited well-known political and cultural figures to work on behalf of the Soviet Union and its causes, and he ran an international media empire that churned out enormous amounts of propaganda and raised money for Communist concerns. Sean McMeekin tells Münzenberg’s extraordinary story, arguing persuasively that his financial chicanery and cynical propaganda efforts weakened the non-Communist left, enraged the right, and helped feed a cycle that culminated in Nazism. Drawing extensively on recently opened Moscow archives, McMeekin describes how Münzenberg parlayed his friendship with Lenin into a personal fortune and how Münzenberg’s mysterious financial manipulations outraged Social Democrats and lent rhetorical ammunition to the Nazis. His book sheds new light on Comintern finances, propaganda strategy, the use of front organizations to infiltrate non-Communist circles, and the breakdown of democracy in the Weimar Republic. It is also an engrossing tale of a Communist con man whose name once aroused fear, loathing, and admiration around the world.


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A committed Communist and a tireless con-man, Lenin’s friend and the Soviet Union’s most persuasive myth-maker, Willy Münzenberg changed the course of European history Willy Münzenberg—an Old Bolshevik who was also a self-promoting tycoon—became one of the most influential Communist operatives in Europe between the World Wars. He created a variety of front groups that recr A committed Communist and a tireless con-man, Lenin’s friend and the Soviet Union’s most persuasive myth-maker, Willy Münzenberg changed the course of European history Willy Münzenberg—an Old Bolshevik who was also a self-promoting tycoon—became one of the most influential Communist operatives in Europe between the World Wars. He created a variety of front groups that recruited well-known political and cultural figures to work on behalf of the Soviet Union and its causes, and he ran an international media empire that churned out enormous amounts of propaganda and raised money for Communist concerns. Sean McMeekin tells Münzenberg’s extraordinary story, arguing persuasively that his financial chicanery and cynical propaganda efforts weakened the non-Communist left, enraged the right, and helped feed a cycle that culminated in Nazism. Drawing extensively on recently opened Moscow archives, McMeekin describes how Münzenberg parlayed his friendship with Lenin into a personal fortune and how Münzenberg’s mysterious financial manipulations outraged Social Democrats and lent rhetorical ammunition to the Nazis. His book sheds new light on Comintern finances, propaganda strategy, the use of front organizations to infiltrate non-Communist circles, and the breakdown of democracy in the Weimar Republic. It is also an engrossing tale of a Communist con man whose name once aroused fear, loathing, and admiration around the world.

38 review for The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willy Münzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West

  1. 4 out of 5

    John

    If it's a hatchet job you want this is your book. Munzenberg was an interesting character and he deserves better. If it's a hatchet job you want this is your book. Munzenberg was an interesting character and he deserves better.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    See my review on H-German: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.... See my review on H-German: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev....

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Sieg

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bcs

  5. 4 out of 5

    Onur

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bogdan Ved

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nightocelot

  8. 4 out of 5

    Grace

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sodom Hussein

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

  12. 4 out of 5

    JoHnny Haddo

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tristana

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kevin J. Rogers

  15. 4 out of 5

    Colin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bjc624

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pavel

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael Connolly

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wikimedia Italia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bill Baar

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alina

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Burbaickij

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Diamond

  25. 4 out of 5

    The American Conservative

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fil V

  27. 4 out of 5

    Armaan

  28. 4 out of 5

    tomsyak

  29. 4 out of 5

    Spectraz

  30. 4 out of 5

    JoséMaría BlancoWhite

  31. 4 out of 5

    Eric Lee

  32. 5 out of 5

    Sergey Slepukhin

  33. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  34. 5 out of 5

    Raymond

  35. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

  36. 4 out of 5

    Gretel

  37. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kate

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