Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives
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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 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.
would destroy more people than all the wars in history? 2 CHILDHOOD RIDDLES THE THREE MUSKETEERS Mikhail Peradze (who also attended the Gori Church School) tells us: Soso’s favorite game was krivi (a sort of collective boxing match between children). There were two teams of boxers: one drawn from those who lived in the upper town, the other representing the lower town. We pummeled each other unmercifully, and weedy little Soso was one of the craftiest scrappers. He had the knack of
means you’re up to something nasty” was the teacher’s favorite saying. Little Soso learned, and never forgot, the power of a steady gaze and the terror felt by a man who does not dare to look away. Teachers in the Church School gave their pupils a rough time. There were exceptions: Belyaev, the supervisor, was kind and gentle. But because the pupils were not afraid of him, they did not respect him. That was another lesson for Soso to remember. One day Belyaev took the boys to the City of
spared her, as he had once spared Zinoviev and Kamenev, for use in a public trial. She was the intermediary through whom Molotov had been recruited as an enemy agent. The Boss could go on from there to write group after group of conspirators into his story. In the early stages they would be destroyed by the Great Mingrel. But he now had the “socialist camp” to think of, not just the Soviet Union. He therefore broadened the scene of action to embrace the “fraternal countries.” He could not
his biography of Lenin: “Lenin must know about my connection with the police.” He asked for a confrontation, but the Investigating Commission of the Supreme Tribunal had him shot in a hurry. Those are the facts. The question which naturally arises is why did Malinovsky return? In his testimony to the Provisional Government’s commission Lenin said, “I do not believe that Malinovsky was a provocateur, because … if Malinovsky had been a provocateur the Security Police would have gained less from it
CATASTROPHES OFFERS TO RESIGN From autumn 1919 onward, Koba sent one stinging missive after another to the Central Committee asking to be recalled from the front. Such as: To begin with I am a little overtired, and should like permission to detach myself for a certain time from the hectic work at the most dangerous points in the front line, where rest is out of the question, and to concentrate for a little while on “quiet work” in the rear (I’m not asking a lot, I don’t want a holiday in a