- Review – Stalin: Profiles in Power; Kuromiya
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- Stalin, Profiles in Power by Hiroaki Kuromiya | | Booktopia
Unlike the czar, Stalin was a very capable manager. He was not bound by the tradition of autocratic power: he was bound by Marxism. He was a superb politician who knew how to manage things- how to choose the right person for the right position.
Review – Stalin: Profiles in Power; Kuromiya
He was not always constrained by vanity and other ambitions. He was focused, and was able to manage the country quite skillfully. He certainly had very good eyes for individuals, and that helped him. He understood that the Soviet Union needed a new czar, which was, certainly, Stalin, So in that sense, yes, the cult of personality probably mattered, and Stalin understood it. But the way that he consciously promoted it, for his own sake, was necessary for maintaining stability in the Soviet Union.
What factors caused the Ukrainian famine of ?
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How did this famine impact Ukraine and the Soviet Union as a whole? Certainly one of the most important reasons was that the government was bent on taking grain from the peas ants— as much grain as possible — and did not care about the lives of the peasants, and that is probably the most important reason. There are many other reasons, international circumstances, and climatic factors. Certainly another important factor was that Moscow refused to admit that there was famine, which prevented them from asking for international assistance.
They also continued to export grain when the country needed grain, and the imports did not go to the famished areas; they went elsewhere. All of these factors impacted Ukraine and the Soviet Union as a whole; the famine led the deaths of millions of people in peacetime, which could have been prevented if Stalin had been honest; if he had made the feeding of the populace his first priority, probably, he would have saved the lives of the several million people who died. So in that sense, it was very important that Stalin showed his brutal policy and demonstrated that Moscow really did not care about the loss of millions of people.
Without Stalin, the twentieth century would have been completely different. Certainly, he stayed in power for a long time. He shaped the region of the world from the s to the s. Here is the man as he saw himself, as others saw him, and as he interacted with others. Each section, chronologically presented, picks up themes from the death scene. This allows Khlevniuk to balance both chronological integrity and topical treatments in a skillful narrative.
Moreover, Khlevniuk presents his materials in a way that allows the reader to see how different interpretations can apply to the same event. This is a very good read and an important book on Stalin. February 21, - Published on Amazon.
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I thought this would be a book about Stalin's life in detail, his family, etc. It's slow reading and can be a bit tiresome as it can be perhaps a little too in-depth about the philosophies of communism. I would recommend taking a trip down to your local library if you want to read it, or to buy it used. Don't spend a lot of money for this book. August 16, - Published on Amazon. Not your standard chronological order biography, the author has chosen to present the life of Stalin using two parallel narrative tracks.
At first glance this may seem like an odd approach, but it works, and it breaks the monotony of a strictly chronological approach. Having tried to plow through Radinsky's tedious and erratic biographies of Josef Stalin, I was hoping for something better.
This book delivers that and more. A very enjoyable, if depressing, look at the life of a sociopath dictator.
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July 30, - Published on Amazon. I did not know much about Stalin before reading this well put together biography.
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The book is ordered and written in such a way that one can read from beginning to end straight through or start from any chapter. The author states his desire to present the biography as a "Russian nesting doll," and he does just that. I now have a better understanding of the life of Stalin as well as the lives of the Russian people during the Stalinist era. Evil is endlessly fascinating. Explaining and contextualizing it preoccupies legions of theologians and historians.
Two of the worst of the bad bunch inflicted themselves on millions of hapless people in the near-term past: Hitler and Stalin. These two seem to be the epitomes of ruthless and rationalized mass murder and their acolytes are still active and, in some cases, gaining traction. So, this is a source of concern for many who worry that "history repeats itself" and they'd best "know the enemy" by reading about him Likely, there's no better starting point than Khlevniuk's brief biography.
The space between heavy academic tomes and fluffy overviews of historical figures oftentimes isn't too big. In the case of Stalin, there are plenty of both the former and the latter generally aren't worth bothering to read. Historical novels convey some useful impressions, but the fictionalized aspects tend to be judgemental or sensational or simple fantasy. The real beauty of Khlevniuk's work is its brevity. As the author acknowledges in the informative introductory section, many editorial decisions were required on what to include, what to omit and how much detail to provide.
He seems to have found the perfect balance. The author employs an interesting structure, using the framework of Stalin's death in as the touch-point for the narrative. Stalin's life and career unfold in detail but Khlevniuk avoids the pitfall of psychological analysis "Why did Stalin turn out that way? There were certain influences and contemporary events for context, but there were others in similar circumstances that didn't "turn out that way", too. Stalin's legacy is thoroughly polluted by his crimes, but what of his accomplishments?
He did rocket the near-feudal Russia of the tsars into the ranks of advanced industrialized countries in a very short time span.
Stalin, Profiles in Power by Hiroaki Kuromiya | | Booktopia
He created one of the most sophisticated and accomplished militaries in the world and expanded the Empire to cover a significant part of Europe and Asia. His ideology attracted sympathizers worldwide. He beat the Nazi war machine into dust. However, the accompanying crimes, the needless and grotesque waste of human lives and profligate squandering of resources coupled with the totalitarian police state he helmed tarnish all these accomplishments, as Khlevniuk carefully documents.
One cannot detract from Stalin's brilliance as a dictator. He eliminated all rivals real and imagined and cemented his hold to the point where even his most trusted acolytes cowered at his death bed. More dubious were his skills as a military leader. Initially, Stalin handicapped the Red Army by destroying its founder Trotsky , decapitating its leadership, decimating its ranks of experienced soldiers and ignoring capable professional advice. Thus, the debacle of the Nazi invasion was amplified by his incompetence previously demonstrated during the Civil War , his arrogance and his loss of equilibrium in face of the Wehrmacht onslaught added to the disaster.
Yet, as the war progressed, the soon-to-be Marshal of the Soviet Union gained confidence, experience and understanding As to Stalin's legacy, it's not a good one for his comrades only Kaganovitch lived to see the near demise of the Bolshevik enterprise , his people or the subjugated nations. Koba as he was known to his closest comrades remained King until the end.
This is the "Goldilocks" of biographies: not too long, not too short I doubt there is a better balanced and more trenchantly presented biography of Comrade Marshal Stalin than this one. Go to Amazon. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top.
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