The Black Book of Communism was published in France in 1997, and, in the heat of academic debates, topped the best selling list. Even though the book's authors were themselves former members of the Communist Party, the book focus mainly on atrocities committed in the name of communism, postulating that Communism was possibly privy to being misused, and that the Bolshevik genocide taken place under Lenin and Stalin was similar to the racial genocide under Hitler. Stalin, to the authors, used the anti-fascist ploy to pass himself for a defender of traditional values of the bourgeoisie to western intellectuals, and although in appearance he claimed to be against fascism, he painted a horrific picture of fascism in Western Europe.
Western intellectuals have called The Black Book of Communism an apologia for fascism. Jahan-e Ketab's Kaveh Bayat talks about the Farsi publication of this book and laments the lack of enough attention in Iran to important social phenomena like the crimes of Communist regimes.