[PDF] ↠ Unlimited ✓ Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 : by Stephen Kotkin ✓

  • Title: Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928
  • Author: Stephen Kotkin
  • ISBN: 9781594203794
  • Page: 461
  • Format: Hardcover

  • A magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world It 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 revolutionary and finds a leadership role within a small group of marginal zealots When the old world is unexpectedly brought down in a totalA magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world It 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 revolutionary and finds a leadership role within a small group of marginal zealots When the old world is unexpectedly brought down in a total war, the band seizes control of the country, and the new regime it founds as the vanguard of a new world order is ruthlessly dominated from within by the former seminarian until he stands as the absolute ruler of a vast and terrible state apparatus, with dominion over Eurasia But the largest country in the world is also a poor and backward one, far behind the great capitalist countries in industrial and military power, encircled on all sides Shortly after seizing total power, Stalin conceives of the largest program of social reengineering ever attempted the root and branch uprooting and collectivization of agriculture and industry across the entire Soviet Union To stand up to the capitalists he will force into being an industrialized, militarized, collectivized great power is an act of will Millions will die, and many will suffer, but Stalin will push through to the end against all resistance and doubts Where did such power come from We think we know the story well Remarkably, Stephen Kotkin s epic new biography shows us how much we still have to learn The product of a decade of scrupulous and intrepid research, Stalin contains a host of astonishing revelations Kotkin gives an intimate first ever view of the Bolshevik regime s inner geography, bringing to the fore materials from Soviet military intelligence and the secret police He details Stalin s invention of a fabricated trial and mass executions as early as 1918, the technique he would later impose across the whole country The book places Stalin s momentous decision for collectivization deeply than ever in the tragic history of imperial Russia Above all, Kotkin offers a convincing portrait and explanation of Stalin s monstrous power and of Russian power in the world Stalin restores a sense of surprise to the way we think about the former Soviet Union, revolution, dictatorship, the twentieth century, and indeed the art of history itself.
    Stephen Kotkin
    Stephen Mark Kotkin is Professor of History and director of the Program in Russian Studies at Princeton University He specializes in the history of the Soviet Union and has recently begun to research Eurasia generally.


    Closed and gregarious, vindictive and solicitous, Stalin shatters any attempt to contain him within binaries. He was by inclination a despot who, when he wanted to be, was utterly charming. He was an ideologue who was flexibly pragmatic. He fastened obsessively on slights yet he was a precocious geostrategic thinker…who was, however, prone to egregious strategic blunders. Stain was as a ruler both astute and blinkered, diligent and self-defeating, cynical and true believing. The cold calculati [...]

    Jan Švankmajer, The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia, 1990 Why another book on Stalin? I'm no expert here and I could name a couple dozen, and the 50 pages of bibliography in the back list hundreds more. Why read this new book about Stalin, in contrast to these thousands of others?Writing about a man like Stalin is an onerous task. We all have some image of what Stalin was or what evil was, and this might explain how evil comes about. A main trend in this is some crude psychoanalysis, where some c [...]

    Paul Bryant
    A REVIEW OF THE FIRST 300 PAGESThis is a brontosaurus – no, a brachiosaurus of a book. I have another 450 pages to go. Time to pause and make a few notes. SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THE FEEBLER READERThe paperback of this 949 page book (of which 210 pages are notes and index) is quite heavy. Because of its size the printers have thoughtfully made the spine superstrong with a double layer of excellent glue so that it does not fall apart. Unfortunately this means you have to grip the book firmly with b [...]

    I do not follow debates among academic/"professional" historians. Nonetheless I suspect that the first volume of Kotkin's biography of Stalin must be generating a torrent of comment among specialists who care about such topics.It seems to me that in volume one Kotkin has already managed to demolish Robert Tucker's biography altogether - as well as the biographical narratives of scores of others, whom I designate "name-callers," liberals and right-wingers only too eager to abandon historical anal [...]

    11811 (Eleven)
    This is killing my reading groove this year so I'm throwing in the towel at 80%. I've been spoiled by historical writers like Erik Larson and Ron Chernow who turn facts into stories that come alive. This reads more like an undergraduate term paper. Solid facts; boring as hell.I wish the writing was as fascinating as the material. Stalin was an interesting dude. Anyone who travels with nothing but clothes, books, and a typewriter - I can dig it. Of course, the murder and pedophilia were somewhat [...]

    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. Trotsky established the image of Stalin as a sinister mediocrity, who nonetheless outmaneuvered Trotsky through his utter lack of scruples. In truth, as Kotkin shows, Stalin was an autodidact, “a people person” with “surpassing organizational abilities; a mammoth appetite for work, [and] a strategic [...]

    I learned about this book from Anne Applebaum's excellent article in The Atlantic - it's the first volume of a planned trilogy, which has all the potential to become the definite work on Stalin. You can read Applebaum's article here:theatlantic/magazine/a

    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. It was said that his voice, in the church choir, could bring hardened men to tears. A political theorist; a prolific, if unoriginal, polemicist; an escaped convict (more times than I could count), a father of innumerable il [...]

    Matt Brady
    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)

    Superb first volume of a projected three volume series.Most people who have read anything at all about modern political and military history know about Stalin. It is also likely that what they know about him is not very good. Indeed, he well known as one of the most terrible tyrants of all time, the essential totalitarian dictator, and the man behind the deaths of millions. At the same time, he led his nation through WW2 and kept the Nazis from winning while the US prepared its entry and the UK [...]

    I want to keep this short—there are a lot of good, substantive review out there. I'd just like to mention a couple of takeaways I had from the bookOne—Kotkin does a good job of illuminating Stalin the man. He may not be the most pleasant example of a human being, but he is recognizable as one. I know worse examples.Two—the amount of leaves in this book makes it hard to see the trees, let alone the forest. I'm sure it wasn't Kotkin's intention, but all this focus on detail seems to sanitize [...]

    Brad Eastman
    This is a ponderous tome (950 pages with notes and it is only volume 1). The first part with biographical information about Stalin's early life is quite good and thorough. Stalin's early life and education are explained in the historical setting of tunr-of-the century Russia. The context of Russia's geopolitical situation gives context to young Stalin's life. Once 1917 comes, however, the last two-thirds of the book turn into a sterile analysis of internal Communist party politics with no connec [...]

    Personal Characteristics (increasingly reinforced by his role as General Secretary)“Single most important relationship in Stalin’s life, a relationship of [Lenin’s] protégé, not merely in fact but, crucially, in self-conception.” Which “raised the stakes of the” Testament attributed to Lenin against Stalin as he was consolidating power. Stalin, by the standards of his time and place, seemed to have a pretty normal childhood. He does not exhibit much psychopathology until well into [...]

    Петър Панчев
    Разбулването на един диктаторЦялото ревю тук: knijenpetar/2016/0 „Когато човек гледа малката му приведена глава, има чувството, че ако я прободе с карфица, целият „Капитал“ на Карл Маркс ще излезе оттам със съскане като газ от бутилка. Неговата естествена среда беше марксизмът, та [...]

    This book is not solely about Stalin. Stalin is simply the medium. This book is Kotkin's final thesis on late 19th century Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union. Its Kotkin's definitive say on Russian historiography and it expresses his worldview (ideology) which is classically liberal. He is against all dictatorships apart from the dictatorship of liberal-democracy. Did I read this book in three days? Of course not, how could I? What I read was the more interesting features and controversies of S [...]


    Dan Richter
    Kotkin nähert sich dem Diktator auf ungewohnte Weise. Er grenzt sich scharf ab von bisherigen Biographien, die seine Herrschaft, seine Verbrechen, sein paranoides Politsystem durch kleinere Ereignisse aus seiner Kindheit heraus zu erklären versuchen. Diesen quasi-freudianisch-küchenpsychologischen Ansatz lässt er hinter sich. Warum sollten Erlebnisse wie gelegentliche Schläge durch den Vater den späteren Diktator erklären? Schließlich war Dschugaschwili nicht der einzige Knabe, der geleg [...]

    Andrew Crouch
    As meticulous and stuffed with detail as you might expect of the first of three volumes, but a lot of what the author provides is valuable context for Stalin's development from divinity school malcontent to Communist dictator. Kotkin makes a refreshingly clear distinction between who Stalin was and who were the other key Communist figures, as misguided and flawed as they were as human beings. This isn't a quick read by any stretch of the imagination, but it's worthwhile if you have the time to i [...]

    Nick Ohrn
    I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I have other biographies that I've read and I think it came down to a style issue. First, let me say this work is incredibly comprehensive. I feel like I probably don't ever need to read another book about the period surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution as all the main players around Lenin and Stalin were covered in detail. The events of the revolution and the circumstances leading to them were explained without any gaps. I feel like I know Stalin and the [...]

    Unfortunately I have not been able to really concentrate or delve too deeply into this book because I have a huge editing job that has occupied a lot of my time. But I am so delighted because I have been looking for a definitive biography of Joseph Stalin for several years. The author is obviously steeped in Russian history. 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 [...]

    Yanko Tsvetkov
    The author claims that any biography of Stalin should be intricately linked to the history of the world and cannot be detached from the enormous political and cultural shifts at the beginning of the 20th century. In other words, if the people want to understand Stalin's personality, they have to be prepared to digest a lot of dry matter that has little direct dramatic impact. It's hard to argue against this, especially in retrospective. Imagine writing about Hitler without mentioning nazism. The [...]

    Omar Ali
    What an amazing book Not just a life of Stalin but even more so, a history of Russia in that era. He summarizes whatever was going on in Russia at that time in every chapter, and it's a great review of Russian (and related world) history. Kotkin is intelligent, opinionated and VERY well informed; and willing to challenge assumptions with evidence and rational argument . I think he pretty much nails the fact that above all else, Stalin was a true Leninist. His excesses and paranoia were his own, [...]

    Michael Samerdyke
    I came away deeply impressed with this book. I eagerly await the next two volumes.Kotkin does a very thorough job. His treatment of Stalin's role in the Russian Civil War and the various nationality issues in the former Russian Empire during that time is masterful. The book would be worth it for those chapters alone.Basically, what impressed me was Kotkin's sensible, judicious approach to the material. He does not leap to conclusions or have a favorite thesis. His conclusions seem logical and gr [...]

    Adam Orford
    Stalin is a subject worthy of a three-volume, multi-thousand page biographical treatment. But Kotkin attempts to fill the same space not with biography, but the entire kaleidoscopic history into which his subject was born - and loses Stalin for the scenery, to the detriment of both. Kotkin's motivation apparently is to respond to a century of pseudo-psychological speculation about Stalin's personality, but he does so by removing that personality almost entirely from the biographical narrative. H [...]

    A good, solid introduction to Stalin's life up to the age of 50 (1928) and especially to the historical context in which it emerges. There were some spans of time covered which were a little lite on details of Stalin's life. In contrast, Simon Sebag Montefiore's 'Young Stalin' (published about seven years before this work) has a much more close-up, detailed view of Stalin up to age 39 (1917). Kotkin's work is more of a wide-angle lens - lots of focus on the historical background and less on Stal [...]

    As many reviewers have noted, if you're looking for a straight up bio of Stalin, this may not be your preferred option, as it is as much (sometimes more) a history of Russian/USSR during this period as of Stalin's life. That being said, the goal is to show that Stalin is a product of an era, an ideology (Bolshevism), and a power struggle (not simply to take control, but to carry out Lenin's legacy). Toward that end the context is essential, if at time daunting. It's well researched and written.

    Nick Bubel
    Absolutely outstanding biography of the dictator's first 50 years. Every word must be read, every detail to be digested carefully. As is the case with much of history, there are so many what ifs about these early years of Stalin's rule and Kotkin delves into a treasury of tantalizing possibilities about the other paths Russia may have taken had a few things turned out differently. Without question, this is a must read.

    I won an advance copy of this book from a drawing.A thorough going look into the early part of Stalin's life, from his birth in Georgia, to 1928, along with perhaps more historical context than needed.Highly recommended for students of Russia.

    You can read my review in National Review:nationalreview/nrd/ar

    This is a complex book and is not an easy read. The author forgets the reader often, and his writing style appears to have overwhelmed the editor enough that the editor simply gave up on basic guidelines to help the reader better navigate this chaotic history. The best examples of this forgetfulness are casual mentions of individuals who had appeared 20 to 100 pages before, and whose names are mentioned without prior context after 20 to 100 pages of a mindnumbing swirl of events and confluence o [...]

    • [PDF] ↠ Unlimited ✓ Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 : by Stephen Kotkin ✓
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      Posted by:Stephen Kotkin
      Published :2020-04-16T02:56:59+00:00