This book examines the communist movement in the Arab world from the time of the Russian revolution until after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It traces the interaction of the world communist movement which was characterized by an uncritical acceptance of Marxism-Leninism, and local communists, who moved from initial dependence on Moscow to a position more adapted to local circumstances and sensitivities that could be characterized as a distinctive 'Arab communism'. It goes on to trace the impact of 'Arab communism' on a range of issues in the region, arguing that the role of Arab communist parties was highly significant, and disproportionate to the relatively small numbers of communists in the countries concerned.
1. The Heritage of Arab Communist Parties 2. The Soviet Legacy 3. The Soviet Union and Arab Issues: 1919-1967 4. The Soviet Union and Arab Issues: 1967-1984 5. Perestroika and After 6. Conclusion: The Crisis of the Communist Party in the Arab World