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❰Reading❯ ➾ Stalin: A Biography of a Dictator Author Oleg V. Khlevniuk – Cravenjobs.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Stalin: A Biography of a Dictator

  1. says:

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  2. says:

    Oleg V Khlevniuk presents a new biography on one of history s most ruthless dictators, Joseph Stalin Taking the reader well behind the iron curtain, Khlevniuk explores some of the many topics only briefly mentioned in passing before, if not entirely erased from outsider discussion Joseph Stalin, born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, came from a frugal household A Georgian by birth, Jughashvili did not let his family s plight shape his academic successes, earning top honours throughout his educational endeavours, before joining the seminary As a young man, Jughashvili rebranded himself as Joseph Stalin, a name that rolled off the tongue with greater ease, while also finding solace in the Bolshevik Party, speaking out for a Marxist way of life Stalin s close ties to Lenin saw him rise in the Party and help develop the plans for the eventual uprising that history has called the Russian Revolution Stalin could not stomach much of the class divisions that he saw developing in his homeland, but also did not stay quiet about these issues, finding himself shipped off to Siberia on a few occasions Khlevniuk offers up a few interesting vignettes about Stalin s time there, including letters pleading for assistance as he starved and froze Under Lenin s leadership, the Bolsheviks stormed to power after raising a Red Army that crippled the already weakened Russian troops under the current government, with Stalin close to the top of the power structure Lenin could see that his prot g was less about the Marxist ideology in practice than the complete concentration of power and its delivery with an iron fist a theme that would recur throughout the biography As history has recounted, Lenin feared his eventual death, as it would surely see Stalin take the reins and steer the USSR in another direction Khlevniuk illustrates Stalin s impatience as he waited for control over the Communist Secretariat, biding his time as Lenin sought a firm, but not harsh, approach to the new ideological delivery When Stalin did succeed Lenin, things took a significant change in the USSR, as the new leader sought to focus his attention on bringing to pass some of his collectivisation tactics, textbook communism wherein the country would share all Khlevniuk explores Stalin s first five year plan in which commodities were taken from the various communities and amassed centrally Brutal hoarding of products brought about by Party rules saw people literally starving, with no remorse by Stalin whatsoever Khlevniuk depicts brutal murder for those who would not abide by the rules and how some mothers, mad with starvation, turned to murdering their children to eat their flesh This brutality continued as Stalin killed or brought about the deaths of millions under the USSR s control, all in an effort to concentrate power As an aside, it is fascinating as well as horrifying to see the narrative go in depth about all these atrocities, substantiated by much of Khlevniuk s research While the world remained clueless about these acts, focus and shock appeared turned towards Hitler s decision to exterminate people over the next 10 15 years Stalin continued his brutal governing, instilling fear and repression into his people with some of these foundational Marxist values that were taken out of context Khlevniuk offers countless examples to show just how authoritarian things became in the USSR in the lead up to the Second World War Without any firm alliances on the international scene, Stalin inched towards the Nazis, who were solidifying their own power structure in Western Europe As Khlevniuk explores, Stalin soon realised that he may have made a pact with the devil, noticing Hitler s plans to overtake Europe with no thought to anyone else Not wanting to show any sign of weakness, Stalin held onto his loose non aggression pact with Hitler, only to have the German dictator plot an invasion of Russia in secret The narrative of the war years is both bold in its assertions of how Stalin kept the Red Army in line and brutal in discussions about the clashes with the Nazis and punitive measures doled out for not serving Russia adequately By the end of fighting, Khlevniuk cites that over six million Russians had died, a figure that becomes even astonishing when added to the millions who perished during the famines and collectivisations mentioned before With the war over, Stalin turned to his own territorial expansions across Eastern Europe, amassing countries under his Communist umbrella While he did that, he watched with fascination as China turned red, though its leader, Mao, would not be suppressed or bullied Stalin may have had the role of brutal communist dictator sewed up, but Mao was surely ready to learn and did enact some of his own horrible treatment of the Chinese Stalin s health had always been an issue, but it became even apparent the final years of his life, as his outward appearance showed significant signs of wear Khlevniuk examines this, both through the narrative and with extracted comments by others, as Stalin suffered a debilitating stroke while those in his inner circle could do nothing By the end, it was a waiting game, as Russia s powerful leader and generalissimo soon drifted off and never woke Sentiment in the streets was mixed, though the Secret Police and communist officials sough to quell much of the critical talk The end of an era and a loosening of the reins of power would follow for Russia, as one of the world s most ruthless dictators was no , his indelible mark not one the world will soon be able to ignore A brilliant biographical piece that will entertain and educate many who take the time to read it Highly recommended for those who love political biographies, particularly of those leaders who have received such a whitewashed tale in history books.While I am no expert on Stalin, communist, or even Marxist theory, I can see that Khlevniuk s efforts with this piece are not only stellar, but comprehensive Choosing to focus on the man and add the lenses of his leadership and the ideology he espouses, the reader sees a new and definitely brutal Stalin than has been previously substantiated Those readers who love biographies and how they are cobbled together will find significant interest in the introduction, where Khlevniuk explains not only why this piece is new , but how he was able to take past biographies both of Stalin and those closest to him and weave new narratives to tell the story from inside the Kremlin walls Actions are no longer part of a sterlised account and the reader is not fed tasteless narrative pablum, but able to see of the actions and the blood flowing in the proverbial streets I was shocked on than one occasion with the attention to detail provided within the piece and how these accounts received substantiation from those in the room, as though they could now speak out without worry of being persecuted Khlevniuk is able to convey a great deal of information in his narrative, taking the reader deep into the history, but knows what will appeal to the general reader and what might be too mundane His dividing the book into six parts chapters allows the reader to see the various parts of Stalin s life Interestingly enough, Khlevniuk tells the reader in his introduction that each part can be read in whatever order they choose, though anyone seeking a chronological depiction of Stalin should and would read from beginning to end in that order Full of detail and substantiated comments, this biography of Joseph Stalin is not only new, but well worth the reader s time and should not be missed solely because of its length There is much to learn about the man and his impact on world history, as we enter an era of new authoritarian leaders who seek to control large portions of the population.Kudos, Mr Khlevniuk, for an outstanding piece of writing I learned a great deal and hope that others will be able to take as much away from reading this book as well.Love hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge


  3. says:

    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 account of Stalin s life Whilst I was familiar with Stalin s wartime role I was less familiar with his rise and the circumstances of his death The author cleverly uses the dictators last days to bind a wide ranging account to a common point of reference and uses the circumstances of his death to effectively show how he became so dominant.Several standard Stalin histories are questioned and undermined by the lack of firm evidence that Khlevniuk has found in the archives as well as questioning the reliability of some of eyewitness accounts those histories have been based on.An excellent easy to read biography of the man who by most accounts killed people than Hitler.


  4. says:

    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 almost 70 pages Extremely impressive


  5. says:

    Good ol Uncle JoeJosef 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 result of the famines created in large part by the policies his government pursued In this new biography, Oleg V Khlevniuk sets out to sift through the massive quantity of documentation available to historians, including material newly released from the archives, with a view to understanding the dictator his personality and motivations Khlevniuk claims that many previous biographies have given inaccurate portrayals of Stalin, either because of lack of information or because the biographers were apologists for the regime, or sometimes because they repeated inaccuracies from earlier sources that have passed into the historical mythology Despite the huge amount of material, Khlevniuk makes the point that there is still much not yet released by the Russian government One bonus for historians is that, because Russia was somewhat backwards technologically, Stalin continued to communicate by letter rather than phone until well into the 1930s I give my usual disclaimer that I am not qualified to judge the historical accuracy of the book It certainly appears well researched and gives a coherent and convincing picture of the period Khlevniuk has used an unconventional structure that I think works quite well The main chapters provide a linear history of the period, while between these are short interludes where Khlevniuk tells the story of the Stalin s last hours as he lay dying, using this as a jumping off point to discuss various aspects of his life, such as his relationships with his family and the other men at the top of the regime, his reading habits, his health issues, how he organised and controlled the security services, etc These are not just interesting in themselves they provide much needed breaks from what might otherwise be a rather dry account of the facts and figures of his time in power.Born Ioseb Jughashvili in Georgia in 1879, Stalin was the son of a cobbler, but had a relatively privileged upbringing and education for someone of his class As a student, he began to associate with the Bolsheviks, gradually rising to a position of prominence Although he was initially a moderate, believing in a gradual evolution towards socialism, he was clearly a pragmatist, willing to change his views when politically expedient So when the Revolution kicked off in 1917, he threw his lot in behind Lenin During the war he had his first experiences as a military commander, at which he failed badly, and it was at this early period that he first developed his technique of purging opponents that he would use with such brutality throughout his life After Lenin s death, Stalin became even ruthless in pursuit of power, eventually emerging as the de facto head of government, though the Socialist committee structures remained in place He seems to have been bull headed, forcing ahead with policies regardless of advice to the contrary, and completely uncaring about the consequences of them to the people He appeared to hate the rural poor, considering them a dying breed , and they suffered worst throughout his dictatorship But he would occasionally do an about turn if circumstances required, using what we now think of as Orwellian techniques for distorting the past so that his inconsistencies would be hidden These distortions of course make the later historian s job difficult in getting at the real truth, hence the ongoing debates around just how many people were imprisoned or died under the Stalinist regime debates which may never be fully resolved.Khlevniuk looks in some depth at the Great Terror of 1937 8 when Stalin s purges reached their peak He tells us that it has been suggested that Stalin must have been going through a period of madness it s hard to imagine a completely sane brutal murdering dictator somehow, setting targets for the numbers of people each district must purge But Khlevniuk suggests that the root of his paranoia lay in fear of the approaching war Stalin remembered that the upheavals of the previous world war had created the conditions for civil war within Russia and wanted at all costs to avoid a repetition of that in the next This, he suggests, was also the reason that Stalin tried hard to keep the peace with Nazi Germany However this led to him being unprepared for the German invasion, and as a result the country suffered massive losses of both men and territory in the first few years of the war, while famine, never far away during Stalin s experiment in collectivisation, again reared its ugly and devastating head as the war ended.Khlevniuk gives an overview of Stalin s relationship with his unlikely war time allies, Churchill and Roosevelt, and describes his frustration at their delay in opening a second front to relieve some of the pressure on the hard pressed USSR forces It was at this time that Stalin was portrayed in the west as Uncle Joe, good ol friend and staunch ally, suggesting perhaps that the American and British governments were pretty good at Orwellian propagandising too Of course, when the war ended, so did this uneasy relationship as the Great Powers haggled over spheres of influence and political ideology Stalin was to live another eight years after the war ended, during which time he continued his firm grasp on power by periodically purging anyone who looked as if they might be getting too powerful Khlevniuk paints a picture of Stalin s somewhat lonely death that would be rather sad if one didn t feel he deserved it so much The most powerful men in his government had secret plans already in place for after Stalin s death, and quickly reversed some of his cruellest policies along with some of his extravagant vanity building projects A rather pointless life in the end so much suffering caused for very little permanent legacy Such is the way of dictatorship, I suppose, and Khlevniuk ends with a timely warning against allowing history to repeat itself in modern Russia.Overall, this is a history of the Stalin era than a biography of the man Despite its considerable length, the scope of the subject matter means that it is necessarily an overview of the period, rarely going into any specific area in great depth And I found the same about the personalities while Stalin himself is brought to life to a degree, I didn t get much of a feeling for the people who surrounded him, while often the suffering of the people seemed reduced to a recital of facts and figures It s clearly very well researched and well written, but it veers towards a rather dry, academic telling of the story I learned a good deal about the time, but in truth rather struggled to maintain my attention One that I would recommend perhaps for people with an existing interest in and knowledge of the period rather than for the casual reader like myself NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Yale University Press.www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com


  6. says:

    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 Eastern Europe in an iron grasp from 1929 1953, when he died That must be a really dark place, but he s done a brilliant job Many thanks go to Net Galley and Yale University Press for allowing me a free peek This book is available for purchase right now.The author tells us that revisionists have undertaken to rehabilitate Stalin s reputation lately, and to attribute his various unspeakable crimes against humanity to those below him What a thought Many previously secret archives were opened in the early 1990s, and our researcher has been busy indeed.He begins with a brief but well done recounting of Stalin s childhood, which he says was grim, but not grimmer than that of most of his peers, and surely not sufficiently grim to account for the monster he would become later in life Then he discusses the Russian Revolution, and the relationship and struggle among its leadership, most notably Lenin of whom he has a less favorable view than my own , Trotsky, and Stalin Lenin and Trotsky disagreed over a number of things, primarily the role of the peasantry in the new society and its government Lenin pushed Stalin to a higher level of leadership for a brief while because he was not happy with Trotsky, who in any case was in charge of the military, a critical task all by itself at the time However, when Lenin s health began to fail and he realized he would have to select a successor, he turned to Trotsky By then, unfortunately, Stalin had built himself a clique within the leadership A struggle for control ensued Stalin came out on top, and Trotsky was banished In 1940, Stalin paid a henchman to go to Mexico City and kill him with an ice pick.After Lenin s death, government was largely by committee, and although ruthless decisions sometimes had to be made at a time when there were still Mensheviks Social Democrats who would turn the revolutionary achievement into a bourgeois state, no one person had the ultimate power over the lives of his comrades Over the next few years, however, the German Revolution failed and scarce resources had to be allocated Stalin consolidated his hold on authority and the precious resources that could not be distributed sufficiently to keep everyone under the Soviet umbrella warm and fed went first and increasingly lavishly to the corrupt bureaucratic caste that controlled the Soviet Union, foremost Stalin himself After that came resources for the workers in Russian cities and after that came everyone else The peasantry, which had been in a state close to slavery under the Tsar, were still shut off from the benefits of the Revolution, and Stalin undertook to force them to produce food for the city while punishing and often executing those that tried to stockpile a small amount on which to sustain their own families.Klehvniuk gives a good deal of space, and rightly so, to the Great Terror of 1937 1938, when Stalin began suspecting all sorts of people, those close to him, far away, sometimes in large groups, of conspiring against him He had them rounded up and executed There even came a point in his career when he was having family members rounded up and shot Toward the end of his life it was hard to find a qualified physician to treat him, because Stalin had been having so many doctors arrested and shot.Klehvniuk provides us with a surprisingly readable narrative He tells the chronological story of Stalin s rule, with the horrifying numbers of people, most of them innocent, that were slain for political and nonpolitical crimes during the quarter century of his rule, and he alternates it with a narrative of Stalin on his deathbed Because everyone was so afraid of the guy, when they found him on the floor, alive but in a humiliating position, they had to step out and take a meeting so that no one individual would bear that responsibility Until then, he stayed on the floor right where he was An intriguing question that will probably never be answered has to do with the very congested state of his arteries upon autopsy How much of his behavior can be associated with physical causes, possibly including dementia He was one mean old man when he died It s a haunting consideration.This reviewer was already familiar with a lot of the basic facts of Russian history, and so with the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin, and Trotsky Nevertheless I think that the interested lay reader, if not overly attached to remembering the names of all of the secondary players that came and went, ought to be able to make it through this work and find it as absorbing as I did It s dark material, and I read other things in between sessions in order to keep my own mood from sliding That said, I don t think you will find a knowledgeable writer or a approachable biography anywhere than this one.Whether for your own academic purposes or simply out of interest and the joy in reading a strong biography, you really aren t likely to find a better written biography of Stalin nor a well informed author It went on sale May 19, so you can get a copy now Highly recommended


  7. says:

    Face un personnage suscitant encore aujourd hui les sentiments les plus extr mes, Khlevniuk montre dans ce livre une exceptionnelle rigueur d historien S appuyant sur des sources incontestables accessibles depuis la chute du communisme, il d crit avec une parfaite objectivit l ascension de Staline men e par son immense capacit de travail, ses talents d organisateur et son total cynisme Apportant des clairages nouveaux sur ses liens avec Staline, sur l assassinant de Kirov, sur l impact de la Guerre d Espagne sur les grandes purges ou sur les graves fautes commises au d but de la guerre, cette nouvelle biographie intercale en outre avec talent les chapitres chronologiques avec des analyses construites autour des derni res heures de la vie du dictateur qui aura cependant symbolis ou peut tre permis l crasement de l Allemagne nazie.


  8. says:

    Molto interessante, rende descrive bene gli avvenimenti, i disastri, il terrore, il clima, le assurdit del periodo staliniano Ho apprezzato particolarmente lo stile di scrittura, chiaro e mai stancante i testi che riporto sono tratti dalla prefazione dell autore e dal libro stesso La letteratura su Stalin e la sua era sterminata Gli stessi studiosi dello stalinismo ammettono tranquillamente di non averne visionata neppure la met In questo mare magnum, ricerche serie e meticolosamente documentate coesistono con sciatte compilazioni di aneddoti, dicerie e montature, raffazzonate alla bell e meglio I due ambiti studio storico e divagazione popolare in genere filostaliniana raramente si sovrappongono e hanno da tempo rinunciato alla possibilit di una conciliazione.Da qualche anno avevo la curiosit di affrontare la figura di Stalin, prima di partire ero indeciso tra questo di Oleg Chlevnjuk Stalin di Boris Souvarine La rivoluzione russa Un impero in crisi di Stephen A.SmithSono decisamente contento della lettura, tante le cose imparate e chiarite Paragrafi ricchi di avvenimenti e dei loro significati Quasi comica la descrizione degli eventi nei suoi ultimi giorni di vita Un altro aspetto del libro che mi auguro possa facilitarne la lettura, oltre alla mole contenuta, la sua struttura Una convenzionale divisione cronologica in capitoli non era adatta a presentare i due livelli interdipendenti della biografia staliniana la sequenza degli eventi della sua vita e i tratti salienti della sua personalit e dittatura Da tale difficolt nata l idea di due narrazioni alternate, come una sorta di matrioska testuale Una catena concettuale esamina la personalit di Stalin e il suo sistema di governo sullo sfondo dei suoi ultimi giorni di vita L altra, di taglio pi convenzionalmente cronologico, segue le fasi principali della sua biografia. L elenco delle circostanze storiche che consentirono al sistema staliniano di perdurare potrebbe proseguire, ma anche con l ausilio di un insonne apparato repressivo queste non potevano celare del tutto le contraddizioni inerenti alla societ sovietica n soffocare un diffuso malcontento Fin dalla loro ascesa al potere in veste di partito rivoluzionario radicale, i bolscevichi si basarono sulla strategia di dividere la societ sopprimendone la frazione che, per origini di classe o ruolo assolto nel corpo sociale, era considerata ostile al socialismo In tale strategia rientrava l eliminazione fisica dei membri dei gruppi ostili.15 La rivoluzione staliniana invest enormi risorse nell epurazione della societ da tali elementi Ma oltre a nobilt , borghesia, burocrazia ed esercito zarista, e chiunque altro fosse stato proclamato persona non grata dopo il 1917, a incorrere negli strali del regime fu la fascia pi vasta della popolazione i contadini Durante la collettivizzazione, molti agricoltori furono bollati come kulaki e passati per le armi, deportati o cacciati dai villaggi natii Milioni di persone di ogni provenienza sociale furono perseguitate con i pretesti pi vari e rinchiuse nel sistema concentrazionario o semplicemente uccise Consapevole che una tale linea d azione aveva guadagnato acerrimi nemici alla dittatura, Stalin intensific le sue epurazioni preventive, in particolare durante il Grande Terrore del 1937 38 La repressione gener repressione Al termine del suo regime, una parte considerevole se non la maggioranza dei cittadini sovietici era stata almeno in un occasione arrestata, imprigionata in un campo di lavoro, deportata o sottoposta a qualche forma pi blanda di abuso.Fa sempre effetto l assurdit e l irragionevolezza dei dittatori Nel 1947 rivide personalmente la sua biografia ufficiale, inserendo alcune interpolazioni, tra cui la frase seguente Magistrale esecutore della missione di vo d del partito e del popolo, forte dell unanime sostegno del popolo sovietico, nondimeno, nelle sue azioni, Stalin non ha mai messo in mostra neppure un ombra di presunzione, di vanit o di narcisismo Furono stampate 13 milioni di copie del volume.Se voleva conservare il potere, pensava, doveva essere considerato infallibile Talora riconobbe che erano stati fatti degli errori, ma di certo non potevano essere suoi Scelte e azioni malaccorte erano regolarmente attribuite al governo , alla burocrazia o il pi delle volte alle trame dei nemici L idea che potesse avere una qualche responsabilit personale per le sofferenze del paese era semplicemente inammissibile Era disposto, viceversa, a prendersi il merito dei successi Come accade nei dittatori, il potere assoluto gli instill inevitabilmente la convinzione di essere dotato di una straordinaria preveggenza Ma a differenza delle inclinazioni misticheggianti di Hitler, convinto di seguire una via tracciata dall alto, la fiducia staliniana nella propria infallibilit aveva probabilmente pi a che fare con la sua natura diffidente e con le sue inquietudini Era certo che l unica persona su cui potesse contare era lui stesso Tutt intorno era un pullulare di nemici e traditori E, a volte, da questa paranoia politica scaturirono immani tragedie Come nel 1937 38.Come la data del suo compleanno Secondo la biografia ufficiale sovietica, Stalin nacque nel 1879 In realt , Ioseb D uga vili cos all anagrafe era nato un anno prima Ovviamente, Stalin conosceva perfettamente la data e il luogo della propria nascita Gori, in Georgia, piccola cittadina di una sperduta contrada del vasto Impero russo A fornire la data esatta un registro parrocchiale di Gori conservato nell archivio personale di Stalin 6 dicembre 1878 La stessa data si ritrova in altri documenti, come il diploma conseguito alla Scuola teologica della sua citt natale In un modulo compilato nel 1920, viene nuovamente indicato come anno di nascita il 1878 Ma il 1879 cominciava a fare capolino nei documenti messi a punto dai suoi vari assistenti, e di quella data si sarebbe da allora fatto uso in enciclopedie e rimandi bibliografici Dopo che egli ebbe consolidato il proprio potere, furono organizzati grandi festeggiamenti in onore del suo cinquantesimo compleanno il 21 dicembre 1929 C era dunque confusione non solo sull anno, ma anche sul giorno della nascita il 9 dicembre secondo il calendario giuliano anzich il 6 L inesattezza giunse all attenzione degli storici soltanto nel 1990 Resta ancora da chiarirne il motivo Unica cosa certa che negli anni Venti Stalin decise di ringiovanire di un anno E lo fece.Nel testo anche tanti dati, nomi, numeri L apertura degli archivi ha consentito agli storici di valutare con una certa precisione numerica il livello di violenza necessario a ottenere un tale controllo Si apprende da documenti ufficiali che circa 800.000 persone furono passate per le armi fra il 1930 e il 1952 Tuttavia, molto pi elevato il numero di coloro che perirono in conseguenza delle azioni del regime, dato il frequente ricorso da parte dell apparato di sicurezza di Stalin a tecniche di tortura letali e le condizioni prevalenti nei campi di lavoro, tali da renderli indistinguibili da veri e propri campi di sterminio Fra il 1930 e il 1952, circa 20 milioni di persone furono condannate alla reclusione in campi di lavoro, colonie penali o carceri Nel medesimo periodo, non meno di 6 milioni di individui, principalmente kulaki contadini agiati e membri delle popolazioni represse , furono sottoposti a esilio amministrativo , vale a dire al trasferimento coatto in qualche remota contrada dell URSS Mediamente, nell arco ultraventennale del dominio di Stalin, un milione di persone all anno furono uccise, imprigionate o deportate in zone pressoch inabitabili del paese.Tra le vittime di queste misure c era un buon numero di criminali comuni Ma l eccezionale severit delle leggi e la criminalizzazione di tutte le sfere della vita politica e socioeconomica faceva s che cittadini comuni rei di infrazioni di poco conto o bersagli di qualche campagna politica venissero spesso classificati come criminali Per di pi , oltre ai 26 milioni di vittime fucilate, incarcerate o condannate all esilio interno, altre decine di milioni di persone furono costrette a sfacchinare in malagevoli o pericolosi programmi di lavoro, arrestate, soggette a lunghi periodi di reclusione senza alcun capo d imputazione, o licenziate dal posto di lavoro e cacciate dalle proprie case per essere imparentate con nemici del popolo Complessivamente, non meno di 60 milioni di persone subirono sotto la dittatura staliniana gli effetti in forma blanda o severa della repressione e della discriminazione A questa cifra si devono aggiungere le vittime delle periodiche carestie, che solo nel biennio 1932 33 provocarono la morte di un numero di abitanti compreso fra i 5 e i 7 milioni Sotto il regime staliniano, la morte per fame era in gran parte la risultante di decisioni politiche Nella sua battaglia volta a stroncare la protesta contadina contro la collettivizzazione agricola, il governo impieg la carestia quale mezzo per punire le campagne Qualsiasi opportunit per alleviare la situazione come l acquisto di cereali dall estero fu respinta Interi villaggi ridotti alla fame si videro espropriare le loro ultime scorte di cibo.Da questo orripilante compendio lecito concludere che una quota ragguardevole di cittadini sovietici incorse in qualche forma di repressione o discriminazione durante il periodo staliniano All inizio del 1937 l URSS contava complessivamente 162 milioni di abitanti, passati a 188 milioni ai primi del 1953 Di gran lunga pi contenuta era naturalmente la popolazione adulta, che nel 1937, per esempio, ammontava all incirca a 100 milioni di individui Non sarebbe esagerato dire che una stragrande maggioranza viveva brutalmente oppressa da una minoranza privilegiata, se non fosse che anche buona parte di quest ultima fin travolta dal terrore imperante.


  9. says:

    Written in a 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 Kotkin s multi volume Caro esque biography, you will find than enough updates to classic works like Robert Conquest s Breaker of Nations, to justify reading a new Stalin bio.


  10. says:

    Stunningly objective and sourced A truly exciting look into this man s life His capacity for evil and limitless ego seem to be the driving forces behind his dictatorship I ve come away having a newfound understanding of the tyrant If you want to understand Stalin, and contrast his mode of governance with that advocated by socialism, then read this book.


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download Stalin: A Biography of a Dictator, read online Stalin: A Biography of a Dictator, kindle ebook Stalin: A Biography of a Dictator, Stalin: A Biography of a Dictator 5aaee80e7b2c The Most Authoritative And Engrossing Biography Of The Notorious Dictator Ever Written Josef Stalin Exercised Supreme Power In The Soviet Union From Until His Death In 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 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