OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Stalin's Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War

ISBN : 9780199668045

Price(incl.tax): 
¥3,652
Author: 
Robert Gellately
Pages
496 Pages
Format
Hardcover
Size
162 x 241 mm
Pub date
Mar 2013
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The Second World War almost destroyed Stalin's Soviet Union. But victory over Nazi Germany provided the dictator with his great opportunity: to expand Soviet power way beyond the borders of the Soviet state. Well before the shooting stopped in 1945, the Soviet leader methodically set about the unprecedented task of creating a Red Empire that would soon stretch into the heart of Europe and Asia, displaying a supreme realism and ruthlessness that Machiavelli would surely have envied. By the time of his death in 1953, his new imperium was firmly in place, defining the contours of a Cold War world that was seemingly permanent and indestructible - and would last until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But what were Stalin's motives in this spectacular power grab? Was he no more than a latter-day Russian tsar, for whom Communist ideology was little more than a smoke-screen? Or was he simply a psychopathic killer? In Stalin's Curse, best-selling historian Robert Gellately firmly rejects both these simplifications of the man and his motives. Using a wealth of previously unavailable documentation, Gellately shows instead how Stalin's crimes are more accurately understood as the deeds of a ruthless and life-long Leninist revolutionary. Far from being a latter day 'Red Tsar' intent simply upon imperial expansion for its own sake, Stalin was in fact deeply inspired by the rhetoric of the Russian revolution and what Lenin had accomplished during the Great War. As Gellately convincingly shows, Stalin remained throughout these years steadfastly committed to a 'boundless faith' in Communism - and saw the Second World War as his chance to take up once again the old revolutionary mission to carry the Red Flag to the world.

Index: 

PART I: THE STALINIST REVOLUTION
PART II: SHADOWS OF THE COLD WAR
PART III: STALINS' COLD WAR

About the author: 

Robert Gellately is Earl Ray Beck Professor of History at Florida State University. His publications have been translated into over twenty languages and include the widely acclaimed Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: the Age of Social Catastrophe (2007), Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 (2001), and The Gestapo and German Society: Enforcing Racial Policy, 1933-1945 (1990), the last two also published by Oxford University Press. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

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