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by Stephen Kotkin


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The book’s signature achievemen. s its vast scope: Kotkin has set out to write not only the definitive life of Stalin but also the definitive history of the collapse of the Russian empire and the creation of the new Soviet empire in its place. The American Scholar: Magnificent and magisterial, Kotkin’s study sheds unexpected light on all sorts of thorny problem. .he narrative is not only profound but thrilling.

Stalin: Vol. 1 - Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 Stephen Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University. 1 - Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928. A magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world. Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. Stephen Kotkin is the John P. He is also a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He directs Princeton's Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs its Program in the History and Practice of Diplomacy.

Stephen Kotkin, whose first book, Magnetic Mountain (1995), had the bold subtitle Stalinism as a.Kotkin’s Stalin is a striver and an autodidact of talent and determination

Stephen Kotkin, whose first book, Magnetic Mountain (1995), had the bold subtitle Stalinism as a Civilisation, is not one to shrink before challenges. His expansive study is just the first of a projected three volumes. Kotkin’s Stalin is a striver and an autodidact of talent and determination. There were setbacks and difficulties as he was growing up, but Kotkin dismisses the idea of childhood trauma: lots of people, including many fellow revolutionaries, had it worse. As happened with many bright young men in late imperial Russia, Stalin’s aspirations for betterment got deflected into the revolutionary movement.

The office perspective, inevitably, is less granular in examination of the wider society-the little tactics of the habitat-but the regime, too, constituted a kind of society.

In analyzing Stalin’s international relations, Kotkin makes clear how the combination of Stalin’s ascent to power and growing paranoia guided his global policies

In analyzing Stalin’s international relations, Kotkin makes clear how the combination of Stalin’s ascent to power and growing paranoia guided his global policies. This skepticism and paranoia were baked into the very structure of Stalin’s dictatorship and created a closed loop of reactive, delusional decisions leading to cold-shoulders and hard-fisted dealings from other countries, which only.

Электронная книга "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928", Stephen Kotkin. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1989

Электронная книга "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928", Stephen Kotkin. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1989. He directs Princeton’s Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies program.

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of.Many authors have tried to unravel the Stalin enigma, and Kotkin’s book joins an already crowded field

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing. Many authors have tried to unravel the Stalin enigma, and Kotkin’s book joins an already crowded field. Indeed, there has been an astounding proliferation of biographies about Stalin in recent years.

In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions

In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. We see a man inclined to despotism who could be utterly charming, a pragmatic ideologue, a leader who obsessed over slights yet was a precocious geostrategic thinker-unique among Bolsheviks-and yet who made egregious strategic blunders.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

A magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his worldIt has the quality of myth: a poor cobbler’s son, a seminarian from an oppressed outer province of the Russian empire, reinvents himself as a top leader in a band of revolutionary zealots. When the band seizes control of the country in the aftermath of total world war, the former seminarian ruthlessly dominates the new regime until he stands as absolute ruler of a vast and terrible state apparatus, with dominion over Eurasia. While still building his power base within the Bolshevik dictatorship, he embarks upon the greatest gamble of his political life and the largest program of social reengineering ever attempted: the collectivization of all agriculture and industry across one sixth of the earth. Millions will die, and many more millions will suffer, but the man will push through to the end against all resistance and doubts.Where did such power come from?  In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. 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. We see a man inclined to despotism who could be utterly charming, a pragmatic ideologue, a leader who obsessed over slights yet was a precocious geostrategic thinker—unique among Bolsheviks—and yet who made egregious strategic blunders. Through it all, we see Stalin’s unflinching persistence, his sheer force of will—perhaps the ultimate key to understanding his indelible mark on history.Stalin gives an intimate view of the Bolshevik regime’s inner geography of power, bringing to the fore fresh materials from Soviet military intelligence and the secret police. Kotkin rejects the inherited wisdom about Stalin’s psychological makeup, showing us instead how Stalin’s near paranoia was fundamentally political, and closely tracks the Bolshevik revolution’s structural paranoia, the predicament of a Communist regime in an overwhelmingly capitalist world, surrounded and penetrated by enemies. 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.The product of a decade of intrepid research, Stalin is a landmark achievement, a work that recasts the way we think about the Soviet Union, revolution, dictatorship, the twentieth century, and indeed the art of history itself.Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017

Comments: (7)

Haralem
I'll keep this short, as I'm not an expert on anything. From what i had, casually, read about the period covered by this book, my impression was that Stalin was a not-so-intelligent, but cunning, thug who brute-forced his way into power on the backs of foe and friend, alike. Maybe there are some "seminal" biographies that arrive at just this conclusion. After finishing this book, my original impression has been revised somewhat. Stalin was a quite intelligent and cunning, Marxist ideologue who, with a mixture of cleverness and good luck, brute-forced his way into power on the backs of foe-and friend alike to carry out his conception of the unfinished work of V. Lenin.

I only want to respond to one part of the author's depiction of Stalin's character, his growing paranoia. First of all, almost all of the key actors in this book were paranoid. Second, given the external and internal threats to Bolshevism in thes years, who wouldn't have become paranoid? Finally, Stalin was no more paranoid than your average anti-communist Western leader or high level security bureaucrat during the Cold War.

I also disagree that the book is badly written. I liked the author's casual style, and despite the details and length of the book, I found it very captivating, as I had little knowledge about this period or Stalin. The book made lasting impression on me, although it interfered with my sun-bathing during the few summer days we were able to enjoy this year.
Doukree
I teach a course in Russian politics and have read numerous biographies of Stalin. I wondered how anyone could stretch the story out into three massive volumes. Kit kin did it by creating a brilliant study of Russian history from the late 1800s on. Of course there is a very detailed coverage of Stalin’s own life, but also the best analysis of every aspect of Russian society and politics, both tsarist and soviet that I have seen. I’m just starting volume two and only hope that the author is taking care of himself because, if volume three doesn’t follow, I will have nothing to live for.
Zonama
This is such a marvelous book that has guaranteed I will read the full trilogy. I started this journey with Anne Applebaum's great book 'Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine' which despite enjoying immensely I realised I would enjoy more if I knew more about Stalin and the Russian Revolution as Anne's book assumes some knowledge I didn't have. This then triggered me to read the wonderful Simon Sebag Montefiere book 'Red Tsar' another wonderful book that covered Stalin from 1928, but really kicks off in 1934 through to his death, this meant I needed more knowledge of Stalin's earlier years. 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 skipping through Stalin's role in the Civil War and even the Revolution itself, the information given on that period and Trotsky gives you the background you need to understand the final 2/3 of the book where the Stalin v Trotsky war is covered in minute detail.

Just a wonderful wonderful book, can not recommend it highly enough. If you have any desire to learn about Stalin, The Russian Revolution or even Tsarism, then I can't imagine there is a better book out there to kick off your learning. I may come back to add more to this review lately, as I still have the epilogue to read, but finishing the period mentioned in the title [Birth to 1928] i cannot express how delighted I am to have discovered this book, I truly thank Simon for recommending it, Kotkin for writing it and whoever the publisher is for committing to publish such an exhaustive work. Read this wonderful book
Kajishakar
This is a good book. It suffers from some significant flaws but is definitely worth reading.

First three negative comments, then the positive. 1) Kotkin chooses to ignore some critical information about Stalin's childhood. A number of recent studies, based largely on evidence that Stalin, once in power, insisted be locked away in archives, reveals the young boy to have suffered material deprivation and a lot of physical and emotional abuse. Do the newly available records show conclusively that Stalin was so damaged that he became a sociopath? No. But those records are highly suggestive. Yet in several places--most notably on page 735--Kotkin says "the beatings likely never took place." Now how on earth could Kotkin know that? He never explains why he disregards the evidence of abuse let alone why, if there were no good evidence, we should believe in a Caucasian version of Little House on the Prairie.

Kotkin goes on to suggest that Stalin did not become sociopathic until he was an adult, brutalized by his political conflicts with Trotsky and others. In short, the evil emerged when Stalin was in his 40s. That, though, is as strange a view of personality development as it is of the man himself. The prevailing view among psychologists is that psychopathy/sociopathy are either genetic or induced by extreme abuse during childhood. The notion that a man could be normal, or nearly normal, until nearly middle age and then develop the sort of sadism exhibited by Stalin is a real stretch. Furthermore, it requires almost a willful decision to ignore several instances of ruthless behavior during Stalin's 20s and 30s, a pervasive philandering, and a penchant for violence (or ordering violence) that was both widely recognized and typical of the main Bolsheviks. Once again, Kotkin offers no alternative to the plausible story told by students of the newly available records: that Stalin was profoundly damaged in childhood and developed through adolescence and early adulthood the way most sociopaths do.

2) A number of the recent studies (for example, Montefiore's Young Stalin) have found in the archives answers to a previously perplexing question. Namely, why would Lenin in the late 1910s treat a Georgian rube with few ties to Russian and European Marxist leaders as well as he did Stalin? Why was Stalin preferred so consistently over older and more experienced, more connected Bolsheviks? Several of the recent studies contend that Stalin ran a gang of thugs in the Caucasus, and particularly in Baku, that robbed banks, kidnapped members of rich families and held them for ransom, etc., and then forwarded the money to Lenin and his associates. Stalin was a big source of funding for the Bolsheviks, so Lenin needed him. Now, however, Kotkin says that the case for Stalin's life as a gangster is largely unproven. That is strictly true; the evidence is certainly not "beyond a reasonable doubt." But in history the standard is "what is the most reasonable, the most logical explanation?" and in that context the gangster theory has a lot going for it. When Kotkin then insists that Stalin did not run a criminal enterprise that financed much of the Bolshevik effort, he leaves us once again facing that troublesome original question: why would Lenin have treated Stalin so well for so long? Having resurrected the question, Kotkin ventures no answer at all.

3) In order to argue against the newly consensual view that Stalin had a horrible childhood, emerged as a young sociopath, organized a criminal gang, and forwarded his earnings to Lenin, Kotkin has no choice but to ignore the bulk of the evidence that is available regarding Stalin's early decades. The result is a strange reticence. Why would a biographer refuse to address a significant body of evidence about his subject? Perhaps to differentiate his book from other recently published biographies. In any case, the silence about young Stalin is a significant flaw in a book that purports to be a biography. Ultimately that silence renders the book more a history of Bolshevism and the Soviet Union than a description of Stalin's life.

Now the positive. As a history of Bolshevism and the Soviet Union, the book is excellent. One example is Kotkin's description of the factional struggles in the socialist movement before the October 1917 Revolution and afterwards. The analysis here is clearer than in most books and does a better job of explaining why, for instance, Stalin turned against Kamenev and Zinoviev when he did and why he later had no choice but to isolate and weaken Bukharin, Rykov, and Tomsky. Kotkin shows quite persuasively why these were pragmatic moves and not simply the result of Stalin's sadism and opportunism. Another strength is Kotkin's treatment of "Lenin's Testament" and the other documents that magically appeared after Lenin's death and that purported to show that Lenin wanted Stalin ousted from power. The author's contention that those documents may have been fabricated by Stalin's enemies is well-argued and well-documented. Kotkin certainly changed my view on that matter. Finally, whereas a lot of writers describe Stalin as a mere opportunist with little ideological conviction, Kotkin demonstrates a consistent devotion to Marxism-Leninism that reasserted itself time and again in Stalin's actions and policies. The result is a portrayal of Stalin not as a cynical and sadistic opportunist but as a zealous communist who, when necessary, made tactical retreats with cynical and sadistic ease. He was a murderous sociopath, but an ideologically committed and consistent one.

So the book is definitely worth reading. I really regret the sparse analysis of Stalin's youth. One of the problems that arises constantly in history is the way in which ruthless leaders--Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden--rise to the top of their movements or states. These people often combine political charisma, geopolitical insight, extreme cynicism, vindictiveness, and sadism. To understand what produces, and will continue to produce, such "leaders" one must understand their childhood environments and experiences. An author who chooses to ignore or de-emphasize such factors does the student of history and of current events a disservice by refusing to shed any light on the wellsprings of human evil. Nevertheless, Kotkin's book is a very solid treatment of Bolshevism and the Soviet Union and, by its latter chapters, its focus on Stalin has sharpened somewhat.

I hope he moves further in that direction in the second volume.
Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 download epub
Historical
Author: Stephen Kotkin
ISBN: 1594203792
Category: Biographies & Memoris
Subcategory: Historical
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Press; 1st Edition edition (November 6, 2014)
Pages: 976 pages