Stalin by Robert Conquest
Breaker of Nations

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Synopsis

Robert Conquest is the foremost authority on the Stalinist period of Soviet history. The culmination of a lifetime's work, this book is a masterly portrait of a man who 'perhaps more than any other determined the course of the twentieth century'. Conquest focuses on Stalin's terrifying character, perhaps the closest to a monster that humankind has ever produced. Stalin emerges as a man 'unnatural' and 'unreal', who gave his personal authority to the slaughter of millions, but whose vanity demanded their adulation. Most surprisingly, Conquest demonstrates that Stalin's astounding power was not the reward of ability; it was the creation of a man whose mind was 'of profound mediocrity, melded with superhuman willpower'.'There is no one better qualified to write Stalin's life than Robert Conquest, who in his many books about the Stalinist era has told the story with such intimacy, expertise and passion...Conquest tells the tale with an informed hatred for his subject, and a fine sense of irony which makes this book indispensable reading' A.N. Wilson, Evening Standard
 

About Robert Conquest

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Robert Conquest was educated at Winchester and Magdalen College, Oxford. He served in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in World War II, and thereafter in the Foreign Service in Sofia and New York, for which he was awarded the OBE. He has since held various academic posts. He is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.
 
Published January 1, 1991 by Phoenix Giant. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Stalin

Kirkus Reviews

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Blending impeccable scholarship and deeply revealing anecdotes, noted Soviet scholar Conquest (Stalin and the Kirov Murder, 1989, etc.) illuminates Stalin's role in history as well as his private character.

Nov 01 1991 | Read Full Review of Stalin: Breaker of Nations

Kirkus Reviews

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The purge proceeded in what appeared to be random waves and Conquest sees its only possible pattern as ""statistical."" He offers ample data, and his scholarship is unquestionable: evidence comes both from those who have escaped or their manuscripts and from material published recently in the Sov...

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Publishers Weekly

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Drawing on a wealth of new material from the Soviet Union, Conquest presents a chilling portrait of a mass murderer who gave personal instructions on how his victims should be tortured. Stalin (1879-1

Nov 04 1991 | Read Full Review of Stalin: Breaker of Nations

Publishers Weekly

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Drawing on a wealth of new material from the former Soviet Union, Conquest presents a chilling portrait of the Soviet dictator as a mass murderer. Photos. (Nov.)

Nov 02 1992 | Read Full Review of Stalin: Breaker of Nations

The New York Times

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Sebag Montefiore never delves into Stalin’s transformation, though he does make the interesting observation that the czar’s secret police “may have failed to prevent the Russian revolution, but they were so successful in poisoning revolutionary minds that, 30 years after the fall of the czars, th...

Nov 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: Breaker of Nations

Publishers Weekly

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Drawing on a wealth of new material from the former Soviet Union, Conquest presents a chilling portrait of the Soviet dictator as a mass murderer.

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London Review of Books

David Holloway explains that ‘the central theme of this book is the development of Soviet nuclear weapons.’ He has ‘tried to provide a coherent – though inevitably incomplete and provisional – analysis of Stalin’s nuclear policy’ in terms of ‘individual decisions taken in particular circumstances’.

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The New York Review of Books

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Mar 26 1987 | Read Full Review of Stalin: Breaker of Nations

The New York Review of Books

Robert Conquest [NYR, July 11] points out the significant contribution of Kostyrchenko’s and Naumov’s books to our understanding of Stalin’s attitudes and policies toward Soviet Jews during the last decade of his rule.

Oct 03 1996 | Read Full Review of Stalin: Breaker of Nations

The New York Review of Books

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Jul 11 1996 | Read Full Review of Stalin: Breaker of Nations

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