Stalin: A Biography

Stalin: A Biography

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by Robert Service
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674022580

ISBN-13: 9780674022584

Pub. Date: 10/15/2006

Publisher: Harvard

Overthrowing the conventional image of Stalin as an uneducated political administrator inexplicably transformed into a pathological killer, Robert Service reveals a more complex and fascinating story behind this notorious twentieth-century figure. Drawing on unexplored archives and personal testimonies gathered from across Russia and Georgia, this is the first full

Overview

Overthrowing the conventional image of Stalin as an uneducated political administrator inexplicably transformed into a pathological killer, Robert Service reveals a more complex and fascinating story behind this notorious twentieth-century figure. Drawing on unexplored archives and personal testimonies gathered from across Russia and Georgia, this is the first full-scale biography of the Soviet dictator in twenty years.

Service describes in unprecedented detail the first half of Stalin's life--his childhood in Georgia as the son of a violent, drunkard father and a devoted mother; his education and religious training; and his political activity as a young revolutionary. No mere messenger for Lenin, Stalin was a prominent activist long before the Russian Revolution. Equally compelling is the depiction of Stalin as Soviet leader. Service recasts the image of Stalin as unimpeded despot; his control was not limitless. And his conviction that enemies surrounded him was not entirely unfounded.

Stalin was not just a vengeful dictator but also a man fascinated by ideas and a voracious reader of Marxist doctrine and Russian and Georgian literature as well as an internationalist committed to seeing Russia assume a powerful role on the world stage. In examining the multidimensional legacy of Stalin, Service helps explain why later would-be reformers--such as Khrushchev and Gorbachev--found the Stalinist legacy surprisingly hard to dislodge.

Rather than diminishing the horrors of Stalinism, this is an account all the more disturbing for presenting a believable human portrait. Service's lifetime engagement with Soviet Russia has resulted in the most comprehensive and compelling portrayal of Stalin to date.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674022584
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
10/15/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
736
Sales rank:
287,214
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

A Note on Renderings

Maps

ONE: THE REVOLUTIONARY

1. Stalin As We Have Known Him

2. The Family Dzhughashvili

3. The Schooling of a Priest

4. Poet and Rebel

5. Marxist Militant

6. The Party and the Caucasus

7. On the Run

8. At the Centre of the Party

9. Koba and Bolshevism

10. Osip of Siberia

11. Return to Petrograd

TWO: LEADER FOR THE PARTY

12. The Year 1917

13. October

14. People's Commisar

15. To the Front

16. The Polish Corridor

17. With Lenin

18. Nation and Revolution

19. Testament

20. The Opportunities of Struggle

21. Joseph and Nadya

22. Factionalist Against Factions

THREE: DESPOT

23. Ending the Nep

24. Terror-Economics

25. Ascent to Supremacy

26. The Death of Nadya

27. Modernity's Sorcerer

28. Fears in Victory

29. Ruling the Nations

30. Mind of Terror

31. The Great Terrorist

32. The Cult of Impersonality

33. Brutal Reprieve

FOUR: WARLORD

34. The World in Sight

35. Approaches to War

36. The Devils Sup

37. Barbarossa

38. Fighting On

39. Sleeping on the Divan

40. To the Death!

41. Supreme Commander

42. The Big Three

43. Last Campaigns

44. Victory!

FIVE: THE IMPERATOR

45. Delivering the Blow

46. The Outbreak of the Cold War

47. Subjugating Eastern Europe

48. Stalinist Rulership

49. Policies and Purges

50. Emperor Worship

51. Dangerous Liasons

52. Vozhd and Intellectual

53. Ailing Despot

54. Death and Embalming

55. After Stalin

Glossary

Notes

Select Bibliography

Index

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