Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator

Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator Review

The most authoritative and engrossing biography of the notorious dictator ever written

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 citizens per year. Millions more were victims of famine directly resulting from Stalin's policies. What drove him toward such ruthlessness? This essential biography, by the author most deeply familiar with the vast archives of the Soviet era, 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 their vozhd lay 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. 

Title:Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Kamil

    4,5 close to 5. Definitely best book I've read this year yet... Well written, very readable and impressively informative. The latter is no surprising, taking into account that endnotes make up to almo...

  • Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)

    An excellent scholarly yet easy to read Stalin biography.Oleg V. Khlevniuk has dug deep into the Russian archives to create this relatively concise by most biographical standards yet authoritative acc...

  • Leah

    Good ol' Uncle Joe...Josef Stalin's 24-year reign as the supreme power in the USSR resulted in the deaths of millions of its citizens, either directly, as a result of repression, or indirectly, as a r...

  • James

    Written in a more accessible style than the excellent Cold Peace and Master of the House, this is a solid, deeply-researched one-volume biography. If you are not intending to work your way through Kot...

  • Donna Davis

    Although this book is published by Yale, Klehvniuk is a research fellow at the Russian national archives, and has devoted twenty years of his life to studying Stalin, the ruler that held much of Easte...

  • Constantin

    Lucid şi rezervat. O carte focusată pe contextul politic, spre deosebire de istoriile fascinante semnate de Montefiore. Marele avantaj al lui Hlevniuk? Faptul că e rus. ...

  • Christopher

    Comparatively brief biography of the vile person who murdered millions. This is basically a political biography, though there is some attention to the man's private life. The main chapters are chronol...

  • John

    With So much about Russia in the news today, I realized I needed more context about Russia I had because of how little I knew about Stalin, who brutally ruled the Soviet Union for 29 years. During tha...

  • Adrian

    Needless to say, there is already a vast, existing canon of literature out there on the Soviet dictator, by established authors such as Robert Service and Simon Sebag Montefiore, so the immediate ques...

  • Dariusz P?ochocki

    Niestety masa błędów na poziomie tłumaczenia, jeżeli chodzi o samą historię wodza (cały czas mamy używane do znudzenia określenia "wożdia") autor na siłę chciał iśc na przekór większo...