The number of books related to the three totalitarian dictatorships is enormous. Therefore, only the most useful of the standard works will be mentioned here. Books containing especially helpful bibliographies will be noted for readers who wish to investigate specialized topics.
Most of the books dealing specifically with the concept of totalitarianism were published in the 1950s and 1960s during the height of the Cold War. At that time it was fashionable to draw parallels between the Soviet Union and the fascist dictatorships; however, some have been published since the topic began to regain its popularity in the 1980s. A basic introductory text with a political science orientation is Leonard Schapiro, Totalitarianism (New York, 1972). One of the first books to deal with the subject and still a classic is Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York, 1973), first published in 1951. Three other books which trace the origins and evolution of the concept are Jacob L. Talmon, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy (New York, 1960); Stephen P. Soper, Totalitarianism: A Conceptual Approach (Lanham, MD, 1985); and most recently, Abbott Gleason, Totalitarianism: The Inner History of the Cold War (New York, 1995).
Carl J. Friedrich and Zbigniew K. Brzezinski described the basic characteristics of totalitarianism in their classic book, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, Rev. ed. (Cambridge, MA, 1965). Friedrich also edited conference papers on the subject in Totalitarianism (Cambridge, MA, 1954) and contributed an article on “The Evolving Theory and Practice of Totalitarian Regimes” in Totalitarianism in Perspective: Three Views (New York, 1969), which was edited by Michael Curtis and Benjamin H. Barber. Michael Curtis has also written an excellent interpretive essay on various aspects of the subject in Totalitarianism (New Brunswick, NJ, 1979), as has Hans Buchheim in Totalitarian Rule: Its Nature and Characteristics (Middletown, CT, 1968). An interesting anthol-