An engrossing biography of the notorious Russian dictator by an author whose knowledge of Soviet-era archives far surpasses all others.
Josef Stalin exercised supreme power in the Soviet Union from 1929 until his death in 1953. During that quarter-century, by Oleg Khlevniuk's estimate, he caused the imprisonment and execution of no fewer than a million Soviet citizensper year. Millions more were victims of famine directly resulting from Stalin's policies. What drove him toward such ruthlessness? This essential biography offers an unprecedented, fine-grained portrait of Stalin the man and dictator. Without mythologizing Stalin as either benevolent or an evil genius, Khlevniuk resolves numerous controversies about specific events in the dictator's life while assembling many hundreds of previously unknown letters, memos, reports, and diaries into a comprehensive, compelling narrative of a life that altered the course of world history.
In brief, revealing prologues to each chapter, Khlevniuk takes his reader into Stalin's favorite dacha, where the innermost circle of Soviet leadership gathered as theirvozhdlay dying. Chronological chapters then illuminate major themes: Stalin's childhood, his involvement in the Revolution and the early Bolshevik government under Lenin, his assumption of undivided power and mandate for industrialization and collectivization, the Terror, World War II, and the postwar period. At the book's conclusion, the author presents a cogent warning against nostalgia for the Stalinist era.
';This brilliant, authoritative, opinionated biography ranks as the best on Stalin in any language.'Martin McCauley East-West Review
';A historiographical and literary masterpiece.'Mark Edele, Australian Book Review';A very digestible biography, yet one packed with revelations.'Paul E. Richardson, Russian Life Magazine
- Format: EPUB
- Pages: 553 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press (Ignition)
- Publication Date: 19/05/2015
- Category: Biography: historical, political & military
- ISBN: 9780300166941