Stalin's Curse by Robert Gellately
Battling for Communism in War and Cold War

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

Mr Gellately’s latest work has a good claim to be the best single-volume account of the darkest period in Russian history.
-The Economist

Synopsis

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.
 

About Robert Gellately

See more books from this Author
Robert Gellately is the Earl Ray Beck Professor of History at Florida State University and recently was the Bertelsmann Visiting Professor of Twentieth-Century Jewish Politics and History at Oxford University. He is the author of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe; The Gestapo and German Society: Enforcing Racial Policy, 1933-1945; and Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.
 
Published March 7, 2013 by OUP Oxford. 504 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Stalin's Curse
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Roberts on Mar 01 2013

Mr. Gellately's intimate knowledge of the sources across Eastern European and of Russian archives compels us to accept his conclusions.

Read Full Review of Stalin's Curse: Battling for ... | See more reviews from WSJ online

The Economist

Excellent
on Mar 30 2013

Mr Gellately’s latest work has a good claim to be the best single-volume account of the darkest period in Russian history.

Read Full Review of Stalin's Curse: Battling for ... | See more reviews from The Economist

Reader Rating for Stalin's Curse
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 49 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×