Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin's Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina

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In Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin’s Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina, Paul Gregory sheds light on how the world’s first socialist state went terribly wrong and why  it was likely to veer off course through the story of  two of Stalin’s most prominent victims. A founding father of the Soviet Union at the age of twenty-nine, Nikolai Bukharin was the editor of Pravda and an intimate of Lenin’s exile. (Lenin later dubbed him “the favorite of the party.”) But after Bukharin crossed swords with Stalin over their differing visions of the world’s first socialist state, he paid the ultimate price with his life. His wife, Anna Larina, the stepdaughter of a high Bolshevik official, spent much of her life in prison camps and in exile after her husband’s execution.

Drawn from Hoover Institution archival documents, the story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina begins with the optimism of the socialist revolution and then turns into a dark saga of foreboding and terror as the game changes from political struggle to physical survival. Told for the most part in the words of the participants, it is, as Robert Conquest says in his foreword, “a story told to show the horrors of fate, of personal mistreatment and suffering by real people.” It is also a story of courage and cowardice, strength and weakness, misplaced idealism, missed opportunities, bungling, and, above all, love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817910341
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
  • Publication date: 4/19/2010
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul R. Gregory, a Hoover Institution research fellow, holds the Cullen Endowed Professorship in the Department of Economics at the University of Houston, Texas, and is a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin. He is also the chair of the International Advisory Board of the Kiev School of Economics. Gregory is the author of  Terror by Quota (2009), Lenin’s Brain and Other Tales from the Secret Soviet Archives (2008), and The Political Economy of Stalinism (2004), all based on his work in the Hoover Institution Archives. He has also coedited archival publications, such as the prize-winning seven-volume History of Stalin’s Gulag (2004) and the three-volume Stenograms of Meetings of the Politburo of the Central Committee (2007). His publications have been awarded the Hewett Book Prize and the J.M. Montias Prize. Gregory is the coeditor of the Yale-Hoover series on Stalin, Stalinism, and Cold War. He divides his time between Houston, Palo Alto, and Berlin.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Robert Conquest ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

1 April 15, 1937: A Plea from Prison 1

2 March 15, 1938: A Husband Executed 6

3 September 8, 1927: Digging His Own Grave 9

4 1926: Stalin Plays an Unlikely Cupid 14

5 Summer with Stalin (1927) 16

6 June 1928: "You and I Are the Himalayas" 19

7 July 4-12, 1928: Bukharin Fights Back 22

8 Autumn 1928: Pity Not Me 28

9 Autumn 1928: A Fifteen-Year-Old "Co-conspirator" 30

10 January 23, 1929: "To a New Catastrophe with Closed Eyes" 33

11 Early Warnings: Stalin Is Dangerous 37

12 Father and Daughter as Bolshevik Idealists 40

13 January 30, 1929: "You Can Test the Nerves of an Elephant, Bukhashka" 44

14 Summer of 1934: A Second Fateful Meeting 47

15 April 16-23, 1929: Waterloo 49

16 1929-1931: The Woman on the Train 58

17 August 1929: Removal from the Politburo 61

18 New Year's Eve, 1929: Chastened Schoolboys Drop In on the Boss 65

19 April 16, 1930: Bukharin Sinks to His Knees 66

20 July 1930: With Anna in the Crimea 67

21 October 14, 1930: Overtaken by "Insanities" 70

22 January 27, 1934: Courtship, Bad Omens, and Marriage 72

23 December 1, 1934: Kirov Is Shot 75

24 August 23, 1936: Nadezhda Tries to Help 77

25 April 25, 1935: Humiliating Editor Bukharin 80

26 March-April 1936: Bukharin Opts to Stay and Fight 83

27 August 27, 1936: What Accusers? They're Dead 86

28 November 16, 1936: Bukharin Grovels 90

29 December 4, 1936: Dress Rehearsal for Arrest 92

30 December 1936-January 1937: Confrontations 99

31 February 15, 1937: "I Will Begin a Hunger Strike" 103

32 February 24, 1937: To a Future Generation 109

33 February 24-25, 1937: On the Whipping Post 110

34 February 27, 1937: For or Against the Death Penalty? 116

35 February 27, 1937: Arrest Warrant for "Bukharin, N. I." 119

36 February 27, 1937: Arrest and Parting 121

37 February 1937: Anna Larina Is Betrayed 123

38 April 1937: Impossible Dream 125

39 June 2, 1937: Bukharin's Cagey Confession 126

40 June 1937: Anna Meets a New Widow 130

41 March 2-13, 1938: Twenty-one on Trial 133

42 March 12, 1938: Papering over Bukharin's Final Defiance 138

43 March 15, 1938: The Ultimate Payback: A Ghastly Death 142

44 May 1938: Anna's Own Ordeal 144

45 December 1938: Back from the Precipice 146

46 Late December 1938: Advice from a Mass Murderer 148

47 Summer of 1956: Reunion with Iura 150

48 February 5, 1988: Rehabilitated by Old Men 153

49 A Special (Specially Tardy) Delivery 158

50 Bukharin, Stalin, and the Bolshevik Revolution 160

Notes 167

Cast of Characters 179

About the Author 185

Index 187

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