• Socialism 101

  • From the Bolsheviks and Karl Marx to Universal Healthcare and the Democratic Socialists, Everything You Need to Know About Socialism
  • By: Kathleen Sears
  • Narrated by: Samantha Desz
  • Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Socialism 101 is a comprehensive and accessible guide to the historical and modern applications of socialism.

In today’s political climate, more and more presidential candidates are espousing socialist - or democratic socialist - policies. Once associated with oppression, socialism is now a current topic of conversation with everyday Americans, including policies like taxing the rich and healthcare for all. But what exactly is socialism and why does it spark such an intense debate? 

Socialism 101 provides an easy-to-understand, unbiased overview to the nearly 300-year-old origins of this mode of government, its complex history, basic constructs, modern-day interpretations, key figures in its development, and up-to-date concepts and policies in today’s world. As capitalism has become less appealing and socialism experiences a surge in popularity, the need for clarification of what it means has never been more necessary than now.

©2019 Kathleen Sears (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Socialism 101

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Teeth

This book made me realize that my socio-political beliefs until now weren’t purely democratic, but were actually very much along the lines of democratic socialism.
I am a welder, and the only person to vote for a democratic presidential candidate in the shop. I’ve been asked time and time again why I voted the way I did, why I don’t approve of trump, and if/why I’m going to voted for Bernie Sanders. I felt I needed some sharper teeth in the conversation, ones that weren’t rooted in the weak gums and mandibles of social media, but rather the strong jaws of irrefutable history and fact. So I listened to this book.
It was exactly what I needed. The information is straight-forward, unbiased, and very well written. It is simply a history of socialism from its beginnings to the present, it’s pros and cons, its successes and it’s greatest failures.
I plan to listen to Socialism 101 a few more times to pick up on anything I may have missed, as I’m usually listening while I’m working, and my attention may sway toward the bead of molten metal I’m manipulating...for obvious reasons.

24 people found this helpful

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more about history than theory

this book gives you very brief overviews of political occurrences in socialist history, but very little in actual theory.

4 people found this helpful

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A Short Historical Account

This book is a brief overview of the history of socialism. It was unbiased and offered no commentary from the author - which has its pros and cons. It lists the major leaders and examples of socialism, but provides little interpretation or discussion. I feel that I'm now more familiar with the names, places, and events, but would struggle to tell you what socialism is. I found myself repetitively feeling there was not enough context to understand why the listed events happened, why they are important to know about the history of socialism, and what they mean for the theory of socialism. I think if they added a concluding section that compares/contrasts the wildly different examples it would help the reader to understand what is inherent to the theory of socialism, which aspects of the examples were just cultural nuances, and what no longer can be classified as socialist. I wish the book would have just said whether 'socialism' has been completely redefined to fit the opinions of new thinkers, or if these were just different models of socialism.

1 person found this helpful

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101 is correct

This is definitely a surface level analysis but still a good on ramp for the absolute beginner.

1 person found this helpful

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Brisk, but good, overview of socialist history

This was not exactly what I’d anticipated, but I ended up appreciating this book very much. It’s a bit like listening to someone reading a encyclopedia volume on the history of socialism, so was a bit off putting at first. I stuck with it and am glad I did—learned basic facts, names, places, dates about socialist movements around the world. Many books focus on Russia/Soviet Union or on Germany, but this book is more global in its perspective and I appreciated that. Pace is brisk and sections are often brief. Good outline from which to do more research on your own.

1 person found this helpful

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so much information

This is my introduction to socialism, therefore I was hoping for somewhat of an easier explanation. The author seems to cover all bases but bounces back-and-forth from date to date to person to country. It seems that there should be an easier explanation of how this really works, but the last few minutes of the book kind of given insight of how this has come into our generation. I will be doing more research by other avenues

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Now I understand . . .

Thorough and objective history of Socialism/Communism which will help the reader understand the motivation of current day politicians and corporate media.

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Nothing current

I was hoping for more current information on what socialism and democratic socialism looks like today. She spent very little time on that subject.
Overall, it probably is a good overview from the beginning to now. I guess I just wanted more now.

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Not a socialist, but an interesting listen.

Socialism is a horrible idea but this book presents their ideas fairly and respectively.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ash
  • 06-18-20

Decent book

The narrator said ‘Birmingham’ wrong...

Still reading and will report back once completed. It’s been good so far.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ashleigh E. Jackson
  • 07-06-22

Perfect introductory book

Great timeline from early socialist history to current day. Narration is so soothing and easy to listen to.

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  • Mr. M. G. Daniels
  • 11-27-21

It's history, not politics

This is a book on history and has little to do with actual socialism. You won't learn anything about what socialists actually believe, but will learn about history. It's a nice book, but I feel the title is misleading. There was also a glaring error, in that it claims neoliberal don't care about deficits. This is absolutely wrong. Neoliberal justify public spending cuts because of deficits. Socialists are relaxed about deficits as they understand that governments are able to print money.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-17-21

worth a listen

gives you an insightful view of the different types of socialism, how they came to be and why they differ.

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  • Rupert Bear
  • 02-04-21

excellent, unbiased primer on socialism

an excellent primer on the history of socialism. covers the history, schools of thought and individuals involved 8n the movement without judgment