A chilling, riveting account based on newly released Russian documentation that reveals Joseph Stalin’s true motives—and the extent of his enduring commitment to expanding the Soviet empire—during the years in which he seemingly collaborated with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and the capitalist West. At the Big Three conferences of World War II, Joseph Stalin persuasively played the role of a great world leader, whose primary concerns lay in international strategy and power politics, and not communist ideology. Now, using recently uncovered documents, Robert Gellately conclusively shows that, in fact, the dictator was biding his time, determined to establish Communist regimes across Europe and beyond. His actions during those years—and the poorly calculated responses to them from the West—set in motion what would eventually become the Cold War. Exciting, deeply engaging, and shrewdly perceptive, Stalin’s Curse is an unprecedented revelation of the sinister machinations of Stalin’s Kremlin.
Explanatory Note -- Glossary -- The Team Emerges -- The Great Break -- In Power -- The Team on View -- The Great Purges -- Into War -- Postwar Hopes -- Aging Leader -- Without Stalin -- End of the Road -- Biographies
There are some figures in modern history who stand out not just for their amoral conduct but their cruelty. This book explores the life of the notorious Beria, Stalin’s henchman. The first part provides an outline of the turbulent history of Russia from 1900 to 1953, in order to set the background from which Beria emerged. The second section presents a biography of Beria from his youth, his early education, and his obsequious behaviour towards Stalin to his rise to be the head of the NKVD (KGB) and later to be amongst the most senior leaders of the Communist structure in the USSR. He was responsible for the deaths of millions (and for organising the Katyń massacre), infamous for murdering colleagues, and a sexual predator, and became the most feared man in the USSR next to Stalin. The third and fourth parts move away from history and biography to moral philosophy, in order to understand from where such evil conduct arises. The question of free-will is explored in the light of human insight, and these sections also discuss the most recent scientific claims concerning human behaviour, as well as the factors which influence people in decision making.
Andrei Znamenski argues that socialism arose out of activities of secularized apocalyptic sects, the Enlightenment tradition, and dislocations produced by the Industrial Revolution. He examines how, by the 1850s, Marx and Engels made the socialist creed “scientific” by linking it to “history laws” and inventing the proletariat—the “chosen people” that were to redeem the world from oppression. Focusing on the fractions between social democracy and communism, Znamenski explores why, historically, socialism became associated with social engineering and centralized planning. He explains the rise of the New Left in the 1960s and its role in fostering the cultural left that came to privilege race and identity over class. Exploring the global retreat of the left in the 1980s–1990s and the “great neoliberalism scare,” Znamenski also analyzes the subsequent renaissance of socialism in wake of the 2007–2008 crisis.
This widely acclaimed biography of Stalin and his entourage during the terrifying decades of his supreme power transforms our understanding of Stalin as Soviet dictator, Marxist leader, and Russian tsar. Based on groundbreaking research, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals the fear and betrayal, privilege and debauchery, family life and murderous cruelty of this secret world. Written with bracing narrative verve, this feat of scholarly research has become a classic of modern history writing. Showing how Stalin's triumphs and crimes were the product of his fanatical Marxism and his gifted but flawed character, this is an intimate portrait of a man as complicated and human as he was brutal and chilling.
Nazi ideology drove Hitler's quest for power in 1933, colored everything in the Third Reich, and culminated in the Second World War and the Holocaust. In this book, Gellately addresses often-debated questions about how Führer discovered the ideology and why millions adopted aspects of National Socialism without having laid eyes on the "leader" or reading his work.
Histories you can trust. At age thirty in 1919, Adolf Hitler had no accomplishments. He was a rootless loner, a corporal in a shattered army, without money or prospects. A little more than twenty years later, in autumn 1941, he directed his dynamic forces against the Soviet Union, and in December, the Germans were at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad. At that moment, Hitler appeared — however briefly — to be the most powerful ruler on the planet. Given this dramatic turn of events, it is little wonder that since 1945 generations of historians keep trying to explain how it all happened. This rich history provides a readable and fresh approach to the complex history of the Third Reich, from the coming to power of the Nazis in 1933 to the final collapse in 1945, distilling our ideas about the period and providing a balanced and accessible account of the whole era.
At age thirty in 1919, Adolf Hitler had no accomplishments. He was a rootless loner, a corporal in a shattered army, without money or prospects. A little more than twenty years later, in autumn 1941, he directed his dynamic forces against the Soviet Union, and in December, the Germans were at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad. At that moment, Hitler appeared — however briefly — to be the most powerful ruler on the planet. Given this dramatic turn of events, it is little wonder that since 1945 generations of historians keep trying to explain how it all happened. This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the complex history of the Third Reich, from the coming to power of the Nazis in 1933 to the final collapse in 1945. Using photographs, paintings, propaganda images, and a host of other such materials from a wide range of sources, including official documents, cinema, and the photography of contemporary amateurs, foreigners, and the Allied armies, it distils our ideas about the period and provides a balanced and accessible account of the whole era.
A detailed study of the operations, politics, culture, and autonomy of Soviet partisans (or guerrillas) who fought the German army in WWII. Blending military, political, social, and cultural history, Slepyan also provides a prism for viewing relations between the suffocating Stalinist state and its independent partisan warriors.