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In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. "[b][c][8], Connecting Stalin's personal experience to that of the Soviet Union, Ronald Grigor Suny writes "The Soviet Union was profoundly isolated, as was Stalin himself, particularly after the suicide of his wife in 1932 and the murder of his friend Sergei Kirov in 1934. Vol. In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. Stalin Vol 2: Waiting for Hitler review: A flawed masterpiece Stalin, Vol 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928; By Stephen Kotkin", "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, by Stephen Kotkin", Bibliography of Stalinism and the Soviet Union, History of Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union (1917–1927), "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 – the despot's early years", "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin, Book Review: How did his youth result in one of history's greatest tragedies? The dictator, he shows, was consumed by statecraft as well as by domestic politics. He suggests that the horrors of Stalin’s forced collectivisation of agriculture could have been alleviated by “market systems” which are “fully compatible with fast-paced industrialisation."[3]. "[9], In keeping with the theme of the previous volume, Stalin as a paradox of power, Kotkin continues to explore the paradoxes that seem to define his subject. Fitzpatrick writes, "This is an unambiguous rejection of the view widely held by Ukrainians and reflected inter alia in Anne Applebaum’s recent account of famine in the Ukraine. And Kotkin offers the sweeping context so often missing from all but the best biographies. "[10], In his review, Ronald Grigor Suny writes about some of the more frequent criticisms of Kotkin's biography. [5], Hiroaki Kuromiya in his review in the Journal of Cold War Studies that, "this is an enormously rich book that, if read carefully, will greatly benefit anyone interested in Russia and the Soviet Union. In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. "[4] In writing about how Stalin's development and the development of the early Soviet Union were inextricably linked, Gary Saul Morson writes, "How was all this carnage possible? But Stalin wasn’t specifically trying to target Kazakhs either, even though in this region collectivisation was accompanied by a lethal policy of forced settlement of nomads. The wholesale collectivization of some 120 million peasants necessitated levels of coercion that were extreme even for Russia, and the resulting mass starvation elicited criticism inside the party even from those Communists … 1184 pp., October 31, 2017, Penguin Random House, 1st hardcover edition; 49 hrs and 44 mins, Recorded Books audio edition. The author clearly demonstrates the grain seizures as the primary cause of the man-made famine in Ukraine, the Lower Volga and Kazakhstan. [2], The work is both a political biography recounting his life in the context of his involvement in Russian and later Soviet history, and to a lesser degree a personal biography, detailing Stalin's private life and connecting it to his public life as revolutionary, leader and dictator. What made Stalin capable of such cruelty, and how did he manage to accumulate the power to practice it? Some of the journals reviews of the book were: Waiting for Hitler received reviews in the mainstream media, including many reviews by notable scholars in Soviet history and Stalinism. He is also a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Kotkin creates the biography around three sections, covering the three major events that unfolded for the Soviet Union during 1929-1941: the collectivization of agriculture in the early 1930s and the accompanying drive for mass rapid industrialization in the Soviet Union; the Great Terror of 1937-38; and finally the relationship between the Stalinist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany which begins with the Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact, which ultimately sets the stage for the events in the final part of the volume, the lead up to the German invasion of the Soviet Union. He is pockmarked and physically unimpressive, yet charismatic; a gambler, but cautious; undeterred by the prospect of mass bloodshed, but with no interest in personal participation. Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: ... its focus constantly shifting from the tiniest personal details to the grand sweep of international strategy. Cynical about everyone else’s motives, he himself ‘lived and breathed ideals’. [9], Transitioning into the second half of the work, which is more biographical, but still fundamentally more history than biography, Kotkin provides the reader with a view of how Stalin both worked within and transformed the Bolshevik party after the October Revolution and mastered the regime’s ever evolving power structures. In part two, Stephen Kotkin, author of Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941, discusses the relationship between Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler leading up to and throughout World War II. It is the night of Saturday, June 21, 1941. Stephen Kotkin: Thank you for the invitation.. RA: Congratulations on the new book, this is volume two on the life of Stalin. Recorded on January 25, 2018. The pact, as Stalin (as channelled by Kotkin) saw it, was a ‘miraculous’ achievement that ‘deflected the German war machine, delivered a bounty of German machine tools, enabled the reconquest and Sovietisation of tsarist borderlands, and reinserted the USSR into the role of arbitrating world affairs’. "[5], In his review in the Independent, Edward Wilson offers this final assessment, "This otherwise excellent book is marred by its conclusion. Paradoxes of Power was widely reviewed in notable academic journals. 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 by Stephen Kotkin, Review: Stalin. Some of these reviews include: Book Cover for Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, Book was reprinted as a paperback by Penguin in October 2015 (, Stalin. The pact, as Stalin (as channelled by Kotkin) saw it, was a ‘miraculous’ achievement that ‘deflected the German war machine, delivered a bounty of German machine tools, enabled the reconquest and Sovietisation of tsarist borderlands, and reinserted the USSR into the role of arbitrating world affairs.’"[8], In perhaps the greatest paradox of Stalin's life, Ronald Grigor Suny writes about Stalin and Hitler, "A frenzy of hunting for spies and subversives shook the Soviet Union in the late 1930s, as Joseph Stalin propelled his police to unmask Trotskyite-fascists, rightist and leftist deviationists, wreckers, and hidden enemies with party cards. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/06/how-stalin-became-stalinist 976 pp., November 6, 2014, Penguin Random House, 1st hardcover edition; 38 hrs and 47 mins, Recorded Books audio edition. Kotkin describes vividly the dystopian world created by the purges, the ever-present fear of arrest by the NKVD, the endless cycle of denunciations in a usually futile effort to save oneself, the bloody shadow of figures such as Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Yezhov, and Lavrentiy Beria. [11][12] He shows Stalin to be a true student of Lenin method of leadership: an uncompromising class warrior with a complete lack of willingness to compromise with resolute ideological conviction. Stalin, Vol. See the book at Amazon.com. Jonathan Haslam, George F. Kennan Professor in the School of Historical Studies, introduced Kotkin, who fielded questions from the audience at the end of the talk.. Stephen Kotkin is the author of Stalin: Paradoxes of … "[11], The Great Purges are covered in all their horror and the author provides a detailed account of how Stalin was responsible for their initiation and course and that his inner circle were accomplices, sometimes willing and sometimes due to self-preservation. In this context, Kotkin argues persuasively that there was no contradiction between the Communist goal of world revolution and the dictator’s dedication to the revival of Russia’s great power status. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, volume II, Stephen Kotkin, Penguin Press 1119 pp.. In a review of Paradoxes of Power, the Guardian states "It feels not so much like a biography of the man as a biography of the world in his lifetime. https://www.audible.com/pd/Stalin-Volume-I-Audiobook/B00QJEQ09Q It is the night of Saturday, June 21, 1941. "[10] When the band seizes control of the country in the … Some of the journals reviews of the book were: [1][10] In a major contrast with the first half of the book, Kotkin here shows how Stalin was not molded by the circumstances he found himself in, but rather molded those circumstances and shaped the events unfolding around him to facilitate his rise to power. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 was originally published in October 2017 by Penguin Random House (Hardcover and Kindle), and as an audiobook in December 2017 by Recorded Books, and was … Among the former is the Russian autocratic system and its fitful modernizations; the "European castle-in-the air project of socialism" and its bastardized Bolshevik version; global geopolitics; world war and the destruction of belligerent empires.". Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 is the story of how a political system forged an unparalleled personality and vice versa. II: Waiting for Hitler, 1928–1941, "A Portrait of Stalin in All His Murderous Contradictions", "Terror and killing and more killing under Stalin leading up to World War II", Bibliography of Stalinism and the Soviet Union, Case of the Anti-Soviet "Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites", Case of Trotskyist Anti-Soviet Military Organization, "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 – the despot's early years", "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin, Book Review: How did his youth result in one of history's greatest tragedies? Richard Aldous: Hello, and welcome.My guest this week on The American Interest Podcast is Stephen Kotkin, professor of history at Princeton and author of a new book, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.Stephen, welcome to the show. Stephen Kotkin of Princeton University is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 is the second volume in an extensive three-volume biography of Joseph Stalin by American historian and Princeton Professor of History Stephen Kotkin. Vladimir Tismaneanu writes, "When, on 1 December 1934, his closest friend Kirov was shot dead in Leningrad, Stalin immediately assumed the murder was politically motivated and linked it to the former intra-party oppositionists. The Independent writes in its review, Kotkin's biography "tends to history rather than biography. How did a revolution made in the name of social justice, and supported by so many progressive spirits around the world, lead to such monstrous results? In defiance of Churchill's assessment, Stephen Kotkin's attempts to unravel and understand Stalin and his Soviet Union in the second of a three-volume biography of Stalin. Stalin killed more communists and did more to undermine the international communist movement than Adolf Hitler did. “Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator, creator of great power, and destroyer of tens of millions of lives …” Thus begins part one of this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, which dives into the biography of Joseph Stalin.This episode’s guest, Stephen Kotkin, author of Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, examines the political career of Joseph Stalin in … The work is both a political biography recounting Stalin's life in the context of his involvement in Russian and later Soviet history and to a lesser degree a personal biography, detailing his private life, connecting it to his public life as revolutionary, leader, and dictator. Stalin Professor Stephen Kotkin continued his multi-volume biography of Joseph Stalin, with a focus on Stalin’s leadership of the Soviet Union in the years leading up to World War II. II: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 by Stephen Kotkin. [9][4], Hiroaki Kuromiya writes, "Without Stalin, the Soviet Union would have been utterly different. "[1] Ronald Grigor Suny writes that Kotkin "details better than any previous account the viciousness that brought down Stalin’s opponents, one after the other, with these personal conflicts obscuring the original aims of the revolution. [4], Paradoxes of Power stands out as part biography and part history, and finds a unique place among the many biographies of Stalin. Stalin’s obsession with Nazi power resulted in policies of “deterrence as well as accommodation”—and generated miscalculation leading to war. In a final coda, “If Stalin had died”, Kotkin plays “what-if-history” – a dangerous game for any historian. Suspicious of ‘fancy-pants intellectuals’, he was an omnivorous reader whose success in getting the Russian creative intelligentsia into line was ‘uncanny’. However, the author does not fail to connect these events to the larger political world of the Soviet Union and specifically the intraparty conflicts and the final purges of the Old Bolsheviks that would follow. While structural causes and challenges explain much of Russian history, only individual decisions and contingencies determined the course of events. The apparatus created him,' Kotkin shows convincingly that 'Stalin created the apparatus, and it was a colossal feat.' At this point, the party and its history fully belonged to Stalin. On April 4, 2019, Stephen Kotkin, John P. Birkelund '52 Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University, gave a public lecture on "Stalin at War." Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 is the story of how a political system forged an unparalleled personality and vice versa. HOME. "[1][5] Writing in the Historian, Martin H. Folly writes "His main concern is political rather than biographical, and from the start he looks to set Stalin in a broad context of the crisis of Russia from tsarism to provisional government to Lenin’s Soviet Union. The first volume, Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House and the third and final volume, Miscalculation and the Mao Eclipse is scheduled to be published after 2020. This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 21:33. The ending is perfectly judged. Stalin's personal life, family, and education receive only the minimal attention needed to place him in the world Kotkin describes. He critiques Kotkin's analysis of the controversy surrounding Lenin's testament, he states, "Kotkin’s interpretation, fascinating as it is, relies on conjecture rather than evidence." Perceived security imperatives and a need for absolute unity once again turned the quest in Russia to build a strong state into personal rule. Stalin, in Kotkin's exhaustive Indeed, much of the ensuing history of Stalin, from his consolidation of power and forced collectivization of the farms in the USSR in the late 1920s and early 1930s to the dizzying diplomatic days of the Second World War, echo Dante's lament. This page was last edited on 15 November 2020, at 13:12. Stalinism was, in this way, as much enabled from below as imposed from above. Kotkin’s account is a hefty challenge, but an eminently worthwhile one. "[3], This volume spans the period from 1929, with the destruction of the Right Opposition and ends with the impending Nazi–Soviet war in 1941. He was trying to get as much grain and other foodstuffs as he could out of peasants who didn’t want to give it up. After Hitler refused to withdraw them, Stalin dispatched the Red Army to … It is a comprehensive treatise on the explosive competition and inescapable battle between two ideology-driven dictators—Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Kotkin was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928. Vol. Kotkin shows how Stalin used the ultimate loyalty test against his inner circle, their willingness to participate in the destruction of their own families, as a sign of loyalty to the despot above all others; those that passed might remain, those that didn't eventually share the fate of those they tried in vain to protect. Kotkin’s Stalin was supremely capable, while at the same time firmly rooted in the Bolshevik ideological experience, a depiction that avoids the mistake made by many of the general secretary’s would-be biographers who portray him as standing somehow outside of his historical place and time. of Hitler's main agent."[10]. (Nov.) Publishers Weekly ★ 12/01/2017 Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 is the first volume of an extensive three-volume biography of Joseph Stalin by American historian and Princeton Professor of History Stephen Kotkin. Stephen Kotkin gives us what is actually a twin … The Independent writes in its review, Kotkin's biography "tends to history rather than biography"[3] and Hiroaki Kuromiya writes, "the book is more a “marriage of biography and history". [1] Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 was originally published in October 2017 by Penguin Random House (Hardcover and Kindle), and as an audiobook in December 2017 by Recorded Books, and was reprinted as a paperback by Penguin in November 2018. [1][7] In the Slavic Review, Lewis H. Siegelbaum comments, "Kotkin insists on presenting a panoply of structural forces and contingencies. 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928, Book Review: Stalin, Vol. In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. At the same time, Kotkin demonstrates the impossibility of understanding Stalin’s momentous decisions outside of the context of the tragic history of imperial Russia. 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928, by Stephen Kotkin, Book Review: Stalin, Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Volume 1, Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928. In his introductory chapter, he makes the lofty assertion that a life of Stalin … "Kotkin does a fine job of placing Stalin’s actions in their geopolitical context, which encompassed the Spanish Civil War, Japanese aggression against China, the search for collective security in the 1930s, and much more. Tyranny has a circular logic: once a dictator has achieved supreme power, he becomes keener still to hold it, driving him to weed his own ranks of even potential challengers." Stephen Kotkin, author of the book Stalin: Waiting For Hitler, 1929-1941, explored Joseph Stalin’s forced industrialization of the Soviet Union and assessed his relationship with Hitler’s Nazi Germany during World War II. Stalin: the emerging monster Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 - the first volume of a magnificent new biography of the man who made himself dictator of Russia, rebuilt the lost empire, sent tens of millions to their deaths, and launched a half-war that lasted fifty years. Review of Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 and Stalin: Waiting for Hitler: 1929–1941, by Stephen Kotkin No other person would have done what Stalin did, particularly the brutal and headlong campaign for the wholesale collectivization of agriculture. Writing in the London Review of Books, noted Soviet scholar Sheila Fitzpatrick writes, "Stalin is all paradox. . The pact, as Stalin (as channelled by Kotkin) saw it, was a ‘miraculous’ achievement that ‘deflected the German war machine, delivered a bounty of German machine tools, enabled the reconquest and Sovietisation of tsarist borderlands, and reinserted the USSR into the role of arbitrating world affairs’. Interview with Stephen Kotkin, (part 2), Author Lecture by Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, Russian Revolution, Russian Civil War, Polish–Soviet War, 17th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), 18th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance, Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance, 19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Aggravation of class struggle under socialism, National delimitation in the Soviet Union, Demolition of Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, 1906 Bolshevik raid on the Tsarevich Giorgi, Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stalin:_Waiting_for_Hitler,_1929-1941&oldid=991985223, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. As damaging as the purges were, Stalin was not irrational, Kotkin contends, but calculating and strategic. The character of Stalin emerges as both astute and blinkered, cynical and true believing, people oriented and vicious, canny enough to see through people but prone to nonsensical beliefs. They were immensely different beings, biographically and culturally, yet they shared an irreducible hostility to the bourgeois world. Liquidating Bukharin and Alexei Rykov (Lenin's successor as chairman of the Council of People's Commissars) completed the destruction of Lenin's party. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, volume II, Stephen Kotkin, Penguin Press 1119 pp.. . When Kotkin took the stage, he opened with a joke that had the audience roaring with laughter. Some of these reviews include: Book Cover for Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, Stalin. Kotkin’s Stalin is shrewd and crafty, but sometimes too crafty for his own good. In April 1934, the poet Osip Mandelstam bumped into Boris Pasternak on a Moscow street. The second volume, Stalin… Inclined to paranoia, he was still able to keep it under control. Kotkin’s project is the War and Peace of history: a book you fear you will never finish, but just cannot put down. [8][12], One of the most debated issues surrounding the Great Terror is why Stalin decided to embark on a campaign that was so destructive to the party, government and military he had worked to build. Waiting for Hitler was widely reviewed in notable academic journals. "[6], In the first part of the volume, Kotkin explores the world that Ioseb Jugashvili developed in and details how this world was the primary force that transformed him into the person of Joseph Stalin. He makes mistakes and sometimes allows himself to be blinded by obsessions. Interview with Stephen Kotkin, (part 1), Why Does Joseph Stalin Matter? Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 is the first volume of an extensive three-volume biography of Joseph Stalin by American historian and Princeton Professor of History Stephen Kotkin.Originally published in November 2014 by Penguin Random House: Hardcover (ISBN 978-1594203794) and Kindle and as an audiobook in December 2014 by Recorded Books. Recorded on January 25, 2018. Maps. Simon himself via twitter suggested this book by Kotkin & what a great book, truly stunning, more than a book this is an achievement, the depth of insight you get, not just into Stalin but into the societal fissures that made a Stalin figure possible, with a deep dive into Tsarist Russia you develop an understanding of how the Bolshevik coup was made possible, then despite kind of … The book's appendix contains a significant 49 page categorized bibliography (written in small type), which will please anyone seeking to research Stalin and his times further. “Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator, creator of great power, and destroyer of tens of millions of lives …” Thus begins part one of this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, which dives into the biography of Joseph Stalin.This episode’s guest, Stephen Kotkin, author of Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, examines the political career of Joseph Stalin in … By Stephen Kotkin, Book Review: Stalin, Vol. Yet in the end, the biographer places an individual squarely in the centre of history. The ending is perfectly judged. Finally Suny states, "Kotkin radically simplifies “socialism” to mean anti-capitalism as practiced in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Careerism and bureaucratic incentives in the Soviet Union’s formidable apparatus of repression had something to do with it, Kotkin writes, but so too did the party’s monopoly on information and the public’s receptiveness to wild claims about the danger of subversion from within. [a][1] The second volume, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, was published in 2017 by Penguin Random House. I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928, "Book review: 'Stalin: Volume 1, Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928,' by Stephen Kotkin", "Book Review: 'Stalin' by Stephen Kotkin", "Blood-Soaked Monster - Stalin Vol. His “power flowed from attention to detail but also to people— and not just any people, but often to the new people." 1 by Stephen Kotkin", "Book Review: Persecution Complex, Stalin: Paradoxes of Power", "Review: A Georgian Caliban. Kotkin was a Pultizer Prize finalist for Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928. [a][3], In the first volume of Kotkin's biography, he detailed how the world that Stalin was born into molded his personality and shaped his views as he developed into the person who would in turn mold the Bolshevik party and shape the Soviet government, both of which he would come to dominate. Some of the journals reviews of the book were: Paradoxes of Power received reviews in the mainstream media, including many reviews by notable scholars in Soviet history and Stalinism. Details to the grand sweep of international strategy was last edited on 15 2020! Review: Stalin, the poet Osip Mandelstam bumped into Boris Pasternak on a Moscow.... Enough about Hitler noted Soviet scholar Sheila Fitzpatrick compares Kotkin 's biography views of Stalin 's geopolitical outlook others! 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Osip Mandelstam bumped into Boris Pasternak on a Moscow street only the minimal attention to..., 1878-1928 colossal feat. a slightly different perspective, Sheila Fitzpatrick compares Kotkin views... Ukraine, the biographer places an individual squarely in the centre of history in... Ii: waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 by Stephen Kotkin leading to war worthwhile! Was last edited on 15 November 2020, at 21:33 was the chosen! S view, Marxist-Leninist ideology was the straitjacket chosen by the communists to destroy a society and build a order!

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