In the voluminous secret history of the 1930s, one episode that still puzzles researchers is the death in 1937 of one of Stalin's key allies - his fellow Georgian, G.K. Ordzhonikidze. Whether he took his own life or, like Kirov, was murdered, the case of Ordzhonikidze intersects several long-debated problems in Soviet political history. What role did Politburo members play in decision making during the Stalin era? What formed the basis of Stalin's alliances? Were there conflicts between Stalin and his comrades and, if so, how far did they go? Was there in fact opposition to Stalin? These and other questions are addressed by one of Russia's best young historians whose pioneering work in previously closed party and government archives is refining our understanding of the political history of the Stalin era.
Examines the career of one of Stalin's closest associates and most influential economic managers in order to investigate larger issues of Soviet politics of the period such as the extent of Stalin's power over the Politburo, how much policy was made by his advisors, and whether there was any overt or covert opposition to him in the inner circle of power. Offers an alternative to the contrasting speculations that his mysterious death in 1937 was murder to prevent his imminent challenge of Stalin, or suicide when he realized he could not prevent the state terror. First published by Rossiia Molodaia in 1993 as Stalin i Ordzhonikidze: Kinflikty v Politburo v 30-e gody. Paper edition (unseen), $21.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)