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Stalin: Breaker of Nations de Robert…
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Stalin: Breaker of Nations (edició 1992)

de Robert Conquest (Autor)

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245285,866 (3.81)2
Of all the despots of our time, Joseph Stalin lasted the longest and wielded the greatest power, and his secrets have been the most jealously guarded-even after his death. In this book, the first to draw from recently released archives, Robert Conquest gives us Stalin as a child and student; as a revolutionary and communist theoretician; as a political animal skilled in amassing power and absolutely ruthless in maintaining it. He presents the landmarks of Stalin's rule: the clash with Lenin; collectivization; the Great Terror; the Nazi-Soviet pact and the Nazi-Soviet war; the anti-Semitic campaign that preceded his death; and the legacy he left behind. Distilling a lifetime's study, weaving detail, analysis, and research, Conquest has given us an extraordinarily powerful narrative of this incredible figure.… (més)
Membre:Junie.Nitin
Títol:Stalin: Breaker of Nations
Autors:Robert Conquest (Autor)
Informació:Penguin Books (1992), 384 pages
Col·leccions:Junie, La teva biblioteca
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Stalin: Breaker of Nations de Robert Conquest

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An even-handed Stalin bio. While the author makes no effort to disguise the fact that he is not a fan of Communist totalitarian regimes, he also doesn't bend over backwards to insult his subject on every page (as Jung Chang did in her almost ridiculously abrasive biography of Mao). My only quibble is that Conquest tends to assail the reader with unfamiliar names, and it's not always easy to figure out who he's talking about even when you consult the index. (Do you know, for example, who Poskrebyshev was? Probably not, if you're reading a general biography of Stalin. Poskrebyshev's name pops up here and there in the text, and he even appears in a photograph, but Conquest provides no background on the man and his history with Stalin or the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It's just assumed that you'll put it together somehow.)

The essential facts are here, and Conquest paints a vivid picture of Stalin's cruel, vengeful, suspicious character. How did he get that way? It's beyond the powers of any biographer to answer such a question. The real mystery is why his peers allowed Stalin to maneuver himself into a position where he could wreak such havoc. Time and again he was given a tremendous amount of latitude, and even Lenin (who, of course, had his own flaws) realized too late that something had been profoundly wrong with Stalin from the beginning. ( )
  Jonathan_M | Aug 19, 2021 |
Robert Conquest has written a superb caricature of Josef Stalin. A caricature implies that certain traits are exaggerated for the purposes of making a point or getting attention. Conquest has caricaturized Stalin as a man of mystery whose spectre still inhabits Russia. Not a man of mystery in the sense that we do not know what Stalin will do next; because that was predictable after a time, but a man of mystery in the sense that we have no idea about his motivations. Stalin’s actions give one the impression of a great calmness, while in fact he is plotting cruel vengeance. Conquest characterizes Stalin as a man who tried deliberately to be impersonal, often referring to himself as Comrade Stalin. Although Stalin’s oft persona of calmness was interrupted by episodic rage, for the most part, he assumed the outward character of a calm and collected man. Conquest distinguishes Stalin from other tyrants by claiming that in addition to ruling absolutely, Stalin also ruled by deceitfulness. He often did this by avoiding clarity. It has often been said of leaders that they delegate authority well. Just the opposite seems to be the case with Stalin. During the Show Trials Stalin personally oversaw the accusation, confessions, and prosecutions. The question of Stalin’s parentage, how and why Stalin became a revolutionary, a leader in the communist party, a writer of party theory, and how he ingratiated himself with Lenin is remains a mystery, although the author does give us pertinent information which would allow one to form an opinion. ( )
1 vota Tess_W | Apr 16, 2012 |
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Of all the despots of our time, Joseph Stalin lasted the longest and wielded the greatest power, and his secrets have been the most jealously guarded-even after his death. In this book, the first to draw from recently released archives, Robert Conquest gives us Stalin as a child and student; as a revolutionary and communist theoretician; as a political animal skilled in amassing power and absolutely ruthless in maintaining it. He presents the landmarks of Stalin's rule: the clash with Lenin; collectivization; the Great Terror; the Nazi-Soviet pact and the Nazi-Soviet war; the anti-Semitic campaign that preceded his death; and the legacy he left behind. Distilling a lifetime's study, weaving detail, analysis, and research, Conquest has given us an extraordinarily powerful narrative of this incredible figure.

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