Review: Stalin: A New Biography of A Dictator

The Domain for Truth

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Oleg V. Klevniuk. Stalin: New Biography of A Dictator.  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, May 19th, 2015. 408 pp.

This is a well done biography of Josef Stalin, the dictator of the Soviet Union from 1929 to his death in 1953.  Both in the beginning of the book and towards the end the author mentioned how some have recasted Stalin’s legacy for political purposes in Russia and one of the reason why the author wrote this book is to portray Stalin for who he really is historically.  He acknowledges that this will go against the grain for Stalin apologists and those propagating political myths about Stalin and the old USSR.  The author has written and edited works on Stalin before but here he writes for us a one volume book length treatment of Stalin instead of his earlier multiple volumes of translated archived correspondences between Stalin and others.  This…

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