Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents From Russia's Secret Archives

Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents From Russia's Secret Archives

2.7 9
by Edvard Radzinsky, Edvard Radzinsky, H. T. Willets
     
 

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From the author of The Last Tsar, the first full-scale life of Stalin to have what no previous biography has entirely gotten hold of: the facts. Granted privileged access to Russia's secret archives, Edvard Radzinsky paints a picture of the Soviet strongman as more calculating, ruthless, and blood-crazed than has ever been described or imagined. Stalin

Overview

From the author of The Last Tsar, the first full-scale life of Stalin to have what no previous biography has entirely gotten hold of: the facts. Granted privileged access to Russia's secret archives, Edvard Radzinsky paints a picture of the Soviet strongman as more calculating, ruthless, and blood-crazed than has ever been described or imagined. Stalin was a man for whom power was all, terror a useful weapon, and deceit a constant companion.

As Radzinsky narrates the high drama of Stalin's epic quest for domination-first within the Communist Party, then over the Soviet Union and the world-he uncovers the startling truth about this most enigmatic of historical figures. Only now, in the post-Soviet era, can what was suppressed be told: Stalin's long-denied involvement with terrorism as a young revolutionary; the crucial importance of his misunderstood, behind-the-scenes role during the October Revolution; his often hostile relationship with Lenin; the details of his organization of terror, culminating in the infamous show trials of the 1930s; his secret dealings with Hitler, and how they backfired; and the horrifying plans he was making before his death to send the Soviet Union's Jews to concentration camps-tantamount to a potential second Holocaust. Radzinsky also takes an intimate look at Stalin's private life, marked by his turbulent relationship with his wife Nadezhda, and recreates the circumstances that led to her suicide.

As he did in The Last Tsar, Radzinsky thrillingly brings the past to life. The Kremlin intrigues, the ceaseless round of double-dealing and back-stabbing, the private worlds of the Soviet Empire's ruling class-all become, in Radzinsky's hands, as gripping and powerful as the great Russian sagas. And the riddle of that most cold-blooded of leaders, a man for whom nothing was sacred in his pursuit of absolute might—and perhaps the greatest mass murderer in Western history—is solved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385479547
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1997
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
386,712
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 8.01(h) x 1.34(d)

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Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents From Russia's Secret Archives 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a cleverly written biography, by a playwright who knows how to keep a reader's interest. It's a page turner, complete with cliffhanger chapter conclusions. Covers Stalin's life from birth to death. Uncovers the knowns and unknowns, secrets, and Stalin's extraordinary career. At times chilling, always fascinating, written from a Russian native who was a child in Stalin's last years and whose father suffered the full effects of Stalinism. It is the equal of the bios by Conquest and Service, but I think a bit more readable and personal (like The Gulag Archipalego). You learn quite a bit about the wmotions and fear that came with living under Stalin. I heartily recommend Radzinsky's 'Stalin.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This biography written with access to the Soviet archives previously kept secret gives the story of Joseph Stalin, from his childhood dreams of becoming a priest, to becoming an idealistic communist and finally progressing to Tyrant when his taste for power led to the deaths of miiiions of people, both Soviet and foreign. Stalin's crimes against humanity make Adolf Hitler look like a boy scout. This book is a must read for any person believing that communism is a better form of existance over democracy and capitalism.
NorthernSW More than 1 year ago
This detailed, powerful nonfiction expose` of Stalin's life uses source materials, often from Russian communist archives and occasionally from letters and personal contacts. The dramatic history, filled with Stalin's nihilistic machinations, shows what led to the millions of deaths in Stalin's single-minded pursuit of absolute personal power. Stalin's collusion with Hitler, his megalomaniac intention to rule the as much of the world (Europe, Asia, USA) as possible, and his plan to intentionally instigate another war near the end of his life (late 1940s and early 1950s) by a plan to send trainloads of Jews to Siberian camps was enlightening and horrifying. Not a quick read, it can be difficult to keep track of all the actors and Russian names. Stalin's early opposition to the Romanov Czar, his political relationships with Lenin and Trotsky, his willingness to annihilate "objects" (people who were family and foe) and his macabre re-creation of himself as a Czar are elucidated in this biography. The author has done a yeoman's job of locating, analyzing, and organizing such a vast amount of material. A highly recommended history and compelling, weighty read.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The author should be proud of this one. I couldn't put it down once I started it. If all history books were written as well as this one, there would be no need for fiction. It's a shame there is almost no information available that would illuminate the cause of this man's madness. I'm sure this shortcoming is through no fault of the author, the information just isn't available.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book doesnt keep the reader's attention. In the beginning when Radzinsky wrote about Stalin's childhood he formed it interestingly. He wrote it almost as a story while keeping you guessing to figure out his history. But then as you move on to the next section of his life the author just starts listing names places and dates that the reader can never remember. By just throwing information at the reader the reader cannot recall any information on the man. Its a really slow read, if youre lucky to finish it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
he basically wrote a book by using other peoples letters as the bulk of his chapters. He takes muliple chapters to make one point.