This major new work from a foremost political theorist provides a reconsideration of the utility of totalitarianism as a concept in light of the empirical data now available about the operation of the Soviet, Nazi, and Fascist systems. The book discusses the meaningfulness of the term "totalitarianism' ' as a classificatory category including the systems of the Soviet Union under Stalin, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy. It forges a model of totalitarianism, examining basic characteristics of the model in light of its actual operations in different European contexts. Curtis concludes that totalitarianism remains a useful term to distinguish systems of a certain kind from dictatorship, despotism, or traditional authoritarian systems.Curtis presents a major new work in the continuing discussions about the validity of the concept of totalitarianism. In a nonpolemical and objective approach, the book examines the relevant information to determine the validity of the concept. The work draws more than customary attention to the voluntary cooperation of citizens, their relatively easy mobilization by the regime, confusions in decision and policymaking, and the ambiguity of the relationship between party and state that exists in most totalitarian regimes.Totalitarianism is directed toward advanced students and those generally interested in contemporary affairs. It will prove especially valuable to readers trying to understand contemporary communist affairs, the classification of political systems, and comparative politics generally.