I have referred before to a wide-ranging and, in my opinion, intellectually sloppy book called Comrades, which purports to be an overview of 20th-century Communism. As I said in my blog post on the topic, I was not able to get very far in the book, because it was so polemical and poorly argued. I felt it was less a rigurous academic tome and more a partisan screed along the lines of Ann Coulter or Dinesh DSouza. But if I was right, how could the author, Robert Service, enjoy an eminent position as Oxford professor, and be quoted as THE go-to authority in many documentaries touching on the Soviet Union?
Here is a book review that seems to confirm my impression of Service's book and his academic credentials in general.