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Dmitri Volkogonov (1928–1995)

Forfatter af Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy

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An in-depth look at how Stalin gained and kept power, one of the nastiest monsters the world has seen, who without the slightest regret instituted policies that he knew caused the needless torture and killing of tens of millions of his countrymen, who could value nothing except as it affected him personally. A paranoid whose chief attribute was an excellent memory, often used visciously, unjustly and lethally against his revolutionary comrades when they were of no further use to him. A man who rarely and reluctantly bothered to visit factories, farms or troops, content equally to deliver grand or detailed plans from his armchair and who for effect relied always first of all upon terror.

A good survey also of the Russian revolution of 1917 and preceding events. Good portraits of the more important Bolsheviks and their various fates at the hands of Stalin. Well-organized with information from many cited sources. Apparently an excellent translation.

The point of view is troubling. Much that happened within the USSR is not mentioned, such as anti-Jewish pogroms encouraged and ordered by Stalin. There is little or nothing about the sizable aid in food and military supplies shipped, at a high cost in western lives (U-boat sinkings) and goods, to Russia in World War II by the U.S. and Great Britain which likely saved hundreds of thousands of Soviets from starvation and additional battle losses in a prolonged war. Not mentioned is the forced building of cities and factories in Siberia at arbitrary and economically unsuitable locations resulting in continual drains on the rest of the economy.

There is discussion of the heroic work done in the Gulag (labs within prison grounds!) by wrongly imprisoned Russian scientists developing the A- and H-Bombs, but no hint that Russian spies in the U.S. and Great Britain had stolen detailed plans of both bombs several times over, so that the Russians had only to implement the discoveries made in the U.S. by the world's most brilliant scientists over a period of years and costing billions.

As the writer had access to secret Soviet files, it is remarkable that there is nothing about massive Russian spying the world over, particularly in the United States, some revealed by defecting spies and the extensive intercepts assembled by U.S. intellegence of covert coded Soviet espionage transmissions (the recently declassified Venona Project; see also Elizabeth Bentley, Whittaker Chambers and Igor Gouzenko) which eventually fingered Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, Julius Rosenberg and other highly placed U.S. (and British and Canadian) officials and scientists as Soviet spies who implemented and expoited numerous grave security breaches over many years. Other important subversive Soviet operations in other countries go unmentioned as well. All of this changed geopolitical balances and therefore the history of the 20th century.

In short, the author's research and book appear to have been tailored especially to satisfy a Russian view, and there was much else that I was interested in but did not find.
… (mere)
KENNERLYDAN | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jul 11, 2021 |
Written by a Russian general, it presupposes a lot of foreknoweledge of Russian and Leninist history. Jumps around from year to year with no clear "biographical" pattern.
ORFisHome | 4 andre anmeldelser | Jul 13, 2009 |
Amazingly detailed, this book gives the reader a morbidly fascinating account of one of history's most remarkable political careers. It is a heavy going though.
Devatipan | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jul 7, 2009 |
Written by a Russian general, it presupposes a lot of foreknoweledge of Russian and Leninist history. Jumps around from year to year with no clear "biographical" pattern.
IFREF | 4 andre anmeldelser | Apr 25, 2007 |


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Associated Authors

Anatolij Łatyszew Contributor
Roy Miedwiediew Contributor
Fiodor Raskolnikow Contributor
Wasilij Polikarpow Contributor
Michaił Hefter Contributor
Boris Bołotin Contributor
Gawriił Popow Contributor
Jurij Borisow Contributor
Aleksiej Choriew Contributor
Czingiz Ajtmatow Contributor
Aleksandr Bowin Contributor
Ernst Henry Contributor
A Skorochodow Contributor
F.J. Beresin Contributor
Mitrofan Kutschawa Contributor
Boris Popow Contributor
Witali Oppokow Contributor
Kirill Moskalenko Contributor
Juri Krotkow Contributor
Alexej Adshubej Contributor
Nikita Chrustschow Contributor
Wladimir Nowikow Contributor
Nikolai Starostin Contributor
Georgi Shukow Contributor
Juri Sorja Contributor
Louis Mercader Contributor
Stanislaw Lakoba Contributor
N. Kwantaliani Contributor
A. Maximowitsch Contributor
Andrej Gromyko Contributor
Konstantin Simonow Contributor
Lothar Lehnhardt Translator


½ 3.5

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