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Stalin: Breaker of Nations by Robert…

Stalin: Breaker of Nations

by Robert Conquest

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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 vote tess_schoolmarm | Apr 16, 2012 |
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Comprehensive account of Stalin and Stalinism.

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