Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives

Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives

Language: English

Pages: 624

ISBN: 0385479549

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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.

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his own kinsfolk. Maria Svanidze was still keeping her diary. But with gaps. By now her husband’s colleagues in the State Bank had all been imprisoned. Old acquaintances—Budu Mdivani, Orkhelashvili, Eliava—had also been sent out into the night. But Maria was still full of praise for the vigilance of kind Joseph: “27.8.37. No letup in the removal of well-known people.… I often walk along the street, look into people’s faces, and think ‘where are they hiding?’ Millions of people whose social

Kuriles and southern Sakhalin, avenging tsarist Russia’s defeat by Japan in 1905. What was more, the defeat of Japan and the occupation of Manchuria made it possible for Stalin to support Mao Tse-tung openly. Soviet experts and Soviet weapons helped Mao seize control of Northern and Central China. China, with its enormous reserves of manpower, was about to join in realizing the Great Dream. Haggling over the future of Europe continued at the London session of the Council of Foreign Ministers. On

(the Communist Information Bureau), the legitimate heir to Comintern, was his control lever. Under his direction this body coordinated policy in Eastern Europe and channeled funds and instructions to Western Communist parties. Nothing happened within the camp unless he gave the order. No independent action was possible. The Boss had eyes for everything, and punished mercilessly any attempt to decide things without him. There were, of course, unpleasant surprises. Stalin learned that Tito, loyal

did say, when we sent her in, that he was sleeping peacefully, but it isn’t an ordinary sleep.’ We shall have to go again. We agreed that the doctors would have to be called in.” Lozgachev: “Around 8:00 A.M. Khrushchev put in an appearance. [This then was his first appearance.] Khrushchev said, ‘How’s the Boss?’ I said, ‘Very poor, something’s happened to him,’ and told him the whole story. Khrushchev said, ‘The doctors will be here right away.’ I thought, ‘Thank God!’ The doctors arrived

Night the Winter Palace Was Taken” as its theme. Ballet dancers, circus artists, machine gunners and other soldiers all had parts in it. The Aurora was to open the proceedings with a historic single round, but unfortunately it began firing shot after shot without a break: the cease-fire signal could not be given, because the telephone was out of order. It required a messenger on a bicycle to put an end to this farce. While the Aurora boomed away, soldiers of the Red army stormed the palace, over

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