“What we designate modernity was not something natural or automatic. A magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world. Ambitious in scale, this is the first of a 3 volume long Stalin biography. This isn't a quick read by any stretch of the imagination, but it's worthwhile if you have the time to invest. I was so engrossed I actually spilled an entire cup of coffee onto page twenty-three. Added complications arise when the evil in question is related to a state leader’s responsibility for mass deaths. Stalin, Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 976. by Stephen Kotkin | Editorial Reviews. search results for this author. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. The standard story says the grain procurements crisis of 1927 made it necessary for the Bolsheviks to take radical action. Still a relatively obscure figure from the underground, “wearing Siberian valenki” – felt boots – “and carrying little more than a typewriter”, he arrived on 12 March 1917 in the capital, St Petersburg, to join the revolution. Only Aleksei Rykov and sometime finance commissar Grigory Sokolnikov look relatively good, although not as potential leaders because they had no organised factions behind them. In contrast to many who have written on Soviet politics of the 1920s, he is not a partisan of Stalin’s opponents, either collectively or in the person of Trotsky or Bukharin; nor does he proceed from the common assumptions that Stalin must be measured against Lenin, and that to a greater or lesser degree he will fall short. The author is obviously steeped in Russian history. NO WAY. That happened because “right through mass rebellion, mass starvation, cannibalism, the destruction of the country’s livestock, and unprecedented political destabilisation, Stalin did not flinch. The text it totally illegible. A fascinating and literally useless read. Unlike a number of Stalin studies, this is not an etiology of evil. Kotkin is not interested in the old argument about continuity or discontinuity between Lenin and Stalin: like Richard Pipes, whose work is often cited in the early Soviet chapters, he thinks continuity is self-evident and wants us to see that much of what is thought of as the worst of Stalin’s rule is present or latent in Lenin. In addition, at times I could not tell why massive amounts of material was relegated to the notes or first stated in the notes and then repeated in the main text. Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928. Not sure what to do with all that Staline. Yes, it is dry and boring but definitely worth taking the time to read. Kotkin’s Stalin is a striver and an autodidact of talent and determination. Kotkin's biography on Joseph Stalin is masterful in its scope and execution, it's an absolute must-read for readers interested in the history of the twentieth century. Is it Kotkin, an invisible watcher, who has quietly drawn up a chair next to Stalin at his desk? We’d love your help. November 6th 2014 In his final chapter, Kotkin tackles the question that is often asked but seldom answered: what if there had been no Stalin? Volume One of Stalin begins and ends in January 1928 as Stalin boards a train bound for Siberia, about to embark upon the greatest gamble of his political life. What newly anointed leader for whom maintenance of power was the main objective would have risked such a step? Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 adalah volume pertama dari biografi tiga volume Joseph Stalin karya sejarawan Amerika Serikat dan profesor sejarah Princeton Stephen Kotkin.Karya tersebut awalnya diterbitkan pada November 2014 oleh Penguin Random House: Sampul keras (ISBN 978-1594203794) dan Kindle dan sebagai buku rekaman pada Desember 2014 oleh … $40.00. Leon Trotsky, after being expelled from the Communist Party in 1928, and finding himself in an increasingly desperate exile, shaped the perception of his old rival through his prolific writing. Hello, I think you want to know if it is published in Portuguese.? I'd just like to mention a couple of takeaways I had from the book. Nor was there anything necessary about sticking to all-out collectivisation through thick and thin. In other words, EH Carr is “utterly, eternally wrong” in saying that “Stalin illustrates the thesis that circumstances make the man, not the man the circumstances”. Still, somehow large crowds just magically appear at the right moment with no explanation of the appeal to the people or the preparation work that went into generating those crowds. He is now the ruler of the largest country in the world, but a poor and backward one, far behind the great capitalist countries in industrial and military power, encircled on all sides. I got really into this when I was reading it, and made the (admittedly obviously bad) choice to quote Stalin in a meeting I was leading. Professor Kotkin admits he’s up to more than the person; he’s written a Russian period history, doubling as biography. This is interesting as a book about Stalin, but. $12.99. Mr. Kotkin allows detail to substitute for analysis. In this connection, Kotkin pauses to consider whether Stalin’s opponents already saw him as a potential monster, someone who should be stopped at all costs. They see the deaths they cause in the same “necessary” light as those caused in war. He often defends Stalin from Trotsky's and other's criticism, showing how they were false. Then came the miracle: the collapse of the Tsarist autocracy in February 1917. As happened with many bright young men in late imperial Russia, Stalin’s aspirations for betterment got deflected into the revolutionary movement. We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. With regard to empire, for example, which is always important to Kotkin, Lenin, who had “never set foot in Georgia, or even Ukraine, for that matter”, compares poorly to Stalin, with his “first-hand experience of the varied realm” and understanding that there was more to inter-ethnic relations within the empire than just Russian oppression. The key moment in Kotkin’s volume is Stalin’s decision to go for all-out collectivisation of peasant agriculture. A great read if you want to get an idea of what someone’s search for power is like. From his sickbed, Lenin – or persons acting on his behalf – intervened with a document known to history as his “Testament”, which gave confused but critical assessments of Trotsky, Stalin and others in the leadership. The context of Russia's geopolitical situation gives context to young Stalin's life. Having given us a human character, albeit one whose menace is growing, how will Kotkin handle the menace full-blown in volume two? Stalin, in three volumes, tells the story of Russia’s power in the world and Stalin’s power in Russia, recast as the Soviet Union. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - do not let the seven-hundred-odd pages discourage you. He gives a detailed background on the peoples and politics of Russia which is really helpful in providing a real perspective of Stalin's thinking and motives for a lot of hi. Stalin - Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 Volume I Paperback Engels 2015 9780141027944. Free 2-day shipping on qualified orders over $35. You can only make the portrait work, as John Milton did in Paradise Lost, by showing the cracks and contradictions that make the monster (his Satan) human. If you want to know a whole lot about Stalin, Russia, the Soviet Union and how dictatorships emerge, this might be for you. The magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world In January 1928 Stalin, the ruler of the largest country in the world, boarded a train bound for Siberia where he would embark upon the greatest gamble of his political life. An accomplished poet, a pious divinity student, a highly cultured autodidact with broad intellectual interests and an expert knowledge of classical music; a bank robber, an extortionist, a meteorologist, a union organiser, factory worker, an agitator, and an oil rig operator. Feints in the form of tactical retreats notwithstanding, he would keep going even when told to his face by officials in the inner regime that a catastrophe was unfolding – full speed ahead to socialism.”. If a Soviet Union without Stalin had fallen apart, the second world war (assuming it had occurred) would have played out very differently. This is a ponderous tome (950 pages with notes and it is only volume 1). I missed my mouth. The figure that catches the eye in these early chapters is Pyotr Durnovo, Nicholas II’s interior minister, who saved the empire after the 1905 revolution by savage repression. I was quoting him to make a point about what not to do. (LJ 5/1/14) Read full review From repressive Russian imperial policy in Georgia and elsewhere to the Russian autocracy's inability to reform and keep up with European powers, to the outbreak of the First World War and how it precipitated the Russian revolution, to a meticulous breakdown of how the Bolsheviks (and Lenin in particular) browbeated, subdued and eliminated all other revolutionary forces in the country. Stalin makes only cameo appearances in the first 300 pages, which range over the Russian empire, Russian absolutism, the European state system, modernity and geopolitics before getting to the revolution. NOOK Book. Kotkin’s first volume of a projected 3 on Stalin is 700+ pages documenting the sculpting of an immense dictator. A man with an idée fixe, Lenin is as often wildly wrong as he is right: “deranged fanatic” is one characterisation that the author seems to endorse. Stalin: Volume 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928. View All Available Formats & Editions. He survived the political fallout, but the testament was to hang over him like “a sword of Damocles”, generating a “sense of victimhood and self-pity” that is crucial to Kotkin’s portrayal. Once 1917 comes, however, the last two-thirds of the book turn into a sterile analysis of internal Communist party politics with no connection to the wider society at all. Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Kotkin, Director of Russian Studies Stephen: Amazon.nl That’s a tricky decision for the author. He may be right about the Depression, though I’d like to see it argued through with evidence rather than simply asserted. Trotsky was not simply “relentlessly condescending” and a poor political strategist, but “just not the leader people thought he was, or that Stalin turned out to be … Stalin’s abilities and resolve were an order of magnitude greater”. I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 01 by Kotkin, Stephen (ISBN: 9780141027944) from Amazon's Book Store. A beautifully researched, remarkably detailed, sometimes tedious tome giving me more about Stalin’s first 50 years of life than I ever imagined I wanted. But it landed with the attendees like I was a fan, and went down hill from there. Stalin was driven by deeply held convictions, Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2018 10.11 EST. Photograph: Corbis, t’s hard to write about the great evildoers of history. Stalin's rivalry with Trotsky, Lenin's death and his purported final will to 'remove Stalin', and the how Stalin ultimately outmaneuvered Trotsky (with great help of none other than Trotsky himself, who according to Kotkin "organized his own opposition") comprise perhaps the most fascinating chapters of the book. Now finally we see the crux of Kotkin’s interpretation: Stalin was a man acting out of deeply held ideological convictions whose actions are only understandable in these terms, not in terms of maximisation of personal power. But what scholars haven’t seen, or at least explicitly acknowledged, is its significance for an understanding of Stalin and his motives, namely that it makes the argument that he was in it just for personal power untenable. Buy Stalin : Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 (Paperback) at Walmart.com This isn't a quick read by any stretch of the imagination, but it's worthwhile if you have the time to i. It’s not that other historians and Stalin biographers haven’t noted the importance of the “great break” initiated by collectivisation – along with rapid planned industrialisation and cultural revolution, to both of which Kotkin pays less attention – in 1928-9. I GO TO 'Waterstones' - CLICK HERE This is the magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world. Stalin, Vol. At any rate, the message seems to be that in the intimate relationship between biographer and subject, this biographer is keeping the upper hand. a great and pretty balanced bio of stalin's early life and rise to power mitigated only a little bit by a weird afterword where the author makes some weird judgements on communist ideology as a whole that seem to badly miss the point (talking about collective farms never being as efficient as large privately run farms seems odd as "efficiency" isnt the sole, or even the main, motivation behind the collectivisation drive). Trotsky established the image of Stalin as a sinister mediocrity, who nonetheless outmaneuvered Trotsky through his utter lack of scruples. Between all of these developments, Stalin emerges from his (extremely) marginal role as a communist agitator and exiled political revolutionary, to the disciple and ultimately indispensable torch-bearer of Lenin and Marxism-Leninism. Welcome back. Stalin: Paradoxes of Power 1878–1928 User Review - Book Verdict. It’s hard to write about the great evildoers of history. I wasn’t advocating for Staline. The answer is no. He tries to look at him at various stages of his career without the benefit of too much hindsight. It’s a dilemma for historians, who are likely to have an aversion to letting revolutionaries claim the exemption, especially once the revolution is won and they are in power. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published I've been spoiled by historical writers like Erik Larson and Ron Chernow who turn facts into stories that come alive. His answer is that “if Stalin had died, the likelihood of forced wholesale collectivisation – the only kind – would have been near zero, and the likelihood that the Soviet regime would have been transformed into something else or fallen apart would have been high”. Anyway. 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