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eBook Stalin: Triumph and tragedy epub

by Dmitriĭ Antonovich Volkogonov

eBook Stalin: Triumph and tragedy epub
  • ISBN: 0297810804
  • Author: Dmitriĭ Antonovich Volkogonov
  • Genre: Biographies
  • Subcategory: Leaders & Notable People
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld and Nicolson; 1st edition (1991)
  • Pages: 642 pages
  • ePUB size: 1287 kb
  • FB2 size 1440 kb
  • Formats lrf mbr doc lrf


Dmitri Antonovich Volkogonov (Russian: Дмитрий Антонович Волкогонов) (22 March 1928 – 6 December 1995) was a Russian historian and colonel-general who was head of the Soviet military's psychological warfare department.

Dmitri Antonovich Volkogonov (Russian: Дмитрий Антонович Волкогонов) (22 March 1928 – 6 December 1995) was a Russian historian and colonel-general who was head of the Soviet military's psychological warfare department.

Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy Paperback – June 19, 1996. I highly recommend this book to those who have strong interest in learning about Eastern Europe culture, history, and of course, the complexity of Joseph Stalin. by Dmitri Volkogonov (Author). One more word: to understand a person, reading one book by a single author is far less than enough. No so many writers are to be blamed by his lack of comprehensiveness or objectivity, because everyone's perspective and vision is limited.

Volkogonov, Dmitri Antonovich. Dimitri Volkogonov, General of the Soviet Army, head of the Institute of Military History and admirer of Gorbachev, has produced the most authoritative biography of Stalin we have read so far. Categories: History\Memoirs, Biographies. Издание: 2nd impression.

Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy Dmitrii Antonovich Volkogonov Keine Leseprobe verfügbar - 2000

Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy Dmitrii Antonovich Volkogonov Keine Leseprobe verfügbar - 2000. ber den Autor (1996). Dmitri Volkogonov was a career officer in the Soviet Red Army who, until his death in 1995, played an integral role in the demilitarization of Russia as Boris Yeltsin's most senior military advisor and as a deputy in the Russian parliament. The other books in his groundbreaking trilogy are Lenin: A New Biography and Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary.

I haven't quite finished the book, but I'm going to fire this off anyway

I haven't quite finished the book, but I'm going to fire this off anyway. Never having been a great reader of biographies, I was hesitant to start one asfat as Volkogonov's Stalin, but the book grabbed me quickly and hasn't let go. Well-written and utterly absorbing, it beats most novels for sheer narrative drive. We all knew Stalin was bad, but you may not have known he was this bad.

Stalin Triumph and Tragedy Author: Dmitrii Antonovich Volkogonov. Part One Of Two Parts History will probably judge that Stalin was one of the truly dominant figures of the twentieth century. While the elements of Stalin's life are well known, this is the first major study of him from a Soviet author.

Throughout the book, Volkogonov seems to imply that had Stalin not usurped the reins of power and Lenin's course . They erred in the belief that they could manipulate Stalin against Trotsky and that they could exercise more power through the then more influential Politburo.

Throughout the book, Volkogonov seems to imply that had Stalin not usurped the reins of power and Lenin's course had been followed, Soviet Communism in the USSR - as traced by Lenin and theoretically enforced after his death by a collective leadership - might have ended in a more democratic socialism, a true Russian, socialistic utopia. Simply, "they feared Trotsky more than they feared Stalin. They would later pay with their lives for this misjudgment and become two of Stalin's most celebrated Bolshevik victims!

Comments: (7)
Adrierdin
It's been 2 months since I finished this biography, and I still constantly think back to Volkogonov's writing - it is both a learning and an internal experience. In general, I feel this biography is quite underrated.

Pros -
1. The reliability and authenticity of the account: the author used to hold high rank in the USSR army, and has special assess to secret KGB files. He possesses privilege that other historians and biographers may not share.
2. The tone of the writing: the author has clearly tried his best to maintain even objectivity on the evaluation of Stalin and his shadows (not so much of Lenin though; his view on Lenin may be limited and skewed). While the majority of the readers may expect to read some categorical account of "Stalin the demon", Volkogonov depicts a Stalin who doubted, felt, depressed - a human - and how a human wanted to become God and remain as God, a forbidden desire that seeded his own downfall. It is, to some extent, a rather emotional, touching, profound, and internal account of Stalin.
3. For who wants to learn more about Russian culture and ideology at large, this biography can be a bonus. The issues discussed are very comprehensive. Moreover, Russians for some reason are very good at introspection and moral reflection; Volkogonov has brought up lots of moral questions about humanity and history through his account. I've seen readers bothered by this, but history can never be severed apart from thinking. The questions Volkogonov asks are essential and critical.

Cons -
1. The structure of the writing: it is not in a perfect chronological order, which may confuse lots of readers. In the first 1/3 of the biography, Volkogonov tends to go back and forth with his account. In fact, his writing is more logically coherent than chronologically sensible. I personally found no problem following his sequence, but I did knew other readers having a hard time figuring out what was going on, especially in the first 1/3 .

The depth and profundity (factually, emotionally, morally) Volkogonov has gone into is impressing. I highly recommend this book to those who have strong interest in learning about Eastern Europe culture, history, and of course, the complexity of Joseph Stalin.

One more word: to understand a person, reading one book by a single author is far less than enough. No so many writers are to be blamed by his lack of comprehensiveness or objectivity, because everyone's perspective and vision is limited. The best thing for readers to do is to read more than one account by different authors.
Ffleg
As head of the Institute of Military History of the USSR and General of the Soviet Army, Dmitri Volkogonov had access to secret Soviet documents not available to other historians up to the time of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika.

This authoritative, engaging, and instructive biography of the Red Czar of Soviet Communism, Comrade Joseph Stalin, was published in Russia in 1988, but was not translated and published in English until 1991, a pivotal year when the Russian bear stumbled bringing about the total collapse of Soviet communism.

The fact that this biography was completed and published during those years is crucial in understanding the work of General Volkogonov, and this timing allows me to add my nickel's worth to the compilation of reviews of this magnificent and authoritative biography. I say this because one gets the impression that Volkogonov has ambivalent feelings about the ideals, utility, and worthiness of Soviet communism, which he usually refers to as socialism. His ambivalence is, at times, obvious and may be the result of political doubts and anxiety in his dual life in communist Russia.

Even by 1988 the general had not quite shed the skin of his "socialist" background. To all appearances, Volkogonov was a hard-line military man, a general in the political department. Secretly, he was a historian, researching and writing the life of crime of the Red Czar, Joseph Stalin. Would he have concluded this assessment different, if he had finished his Russian edition in 1992 or 1993, rather than 1988?

Throughout the book, Volkogonov seems to imply that had Stalin not usurped the reins of power and Lenin's course had been followed, Soviet Communism in the USSR -- as traced by Lenin and theoretically enforced after his death by a collective leadership -- might have ended in a more democratic socialism, a true Russian, socialistic utopia.

At other times, Volkogonov seems to admit that even with a collective leadership, the course of Russian history might not have made a difference because Lenin, just like Stalin, had called for the pragmatic use of force and terror.

Volkogonov recalls in a footnote that after the February Revolution, the Provisional Government had convened a Constituent Assembly that would establish a constitution for the Russian people to "determine the nature of the state." But lawful, constitutional rule never happened. After Lenin seized power, elections were held, but as the Bolsheviks received less than a quarter of the votes in the Assembly, they quickly dispersed the Assembly by force on January 18, 1918, the first and only "democratic" session.

Lenin nor Stalin wanted democracy or constitutional rule; they both wanted to eliminate the opposition at any cost and establish a "dictatorship of the proletariat" not in the image of the workers and peasants as they proclaimed, but in their own image. And yet, Volkogonov is at times, reluctant to cast Lenin and Stalin in the same collectivist, autocratic, totalitarian mold. The General insisted that events could have taken a different turn, if only Lenin's heed had been followed.

Volkogonov asserts this possibility, despite the fact that he himself provides evidence that, except for Bukharin in the 1920s and 30s, all of the Bolsheviks, following the lead of Lenin and Stalin, including not only Stalin's minions, Molotov, Voroshilov, and Kaganovich, but also Trotsky, Kamenev, and Zinoviev---all sanctioned the use of violence, the use of coercive state power, and the use of terror, in peacetime or wartime, to consolidate Soviet power and subdue the Russian masses in whose name they supposedly ruled!.

We learn with documentation provided in this book that it was Kamenev and Zinoviev, leading Politburo members, ironically, who orchestrated Stalin's election to the office of General Secretary of the USSR. They erred in the belief that they could manipulate Stalin against Trotsky and that they could exercise more power through the then more influential Politburo. Simply, "they feared Trotsky more than they feared Stalin." They would later pay with their lives for this misjudgment and become two of Stalin's most celebrated Bolshevik victims!

Stalin's craftiness and will power were vastly underestimated by his Bolshevik opponents. During the Party Congresses, duels over Trotsky's call for "world revolution" versus Stalin's state policy of "socialism in one country," Trotsky had thought of Stalin as an "outstanding mediocrity, " another misjudgment that eventually proved fatal to Trotsky.

Volkogonov's engaging narrative takes us through the political purges, the meat grinding of Russian society, and the elimination of Stalin's real or imagined opponents: the "Right deviationists," Rykov, Tomsky, and of course, their leader, Bukharin (Lenin's "favorite of the Party") and the military exemplified by Marshall Tukhachevsky; the Left internationalists, Trotsky and his followers; and the vacillators, the Bolshevik duo, Kamenev and Zinoviev. Even Stalin's secret police, the NKVD was not immune and a large number of those who executed in his name, such as G. Yagoda, N. Yezhov, and V. Abakumov, were themselves executed as the meat grinder continued.

One cannot help but be reminded of the similar happenings that took place in France a little over a century earlier. In the French Revolution Maximilien Robespierre destroyed his royalist enemies first, then the courageous Girondins, led by Madame Roland, Brissot, Vergniaud and their followers on the right; then the vicious troublemakers of the left, including the cowardly radical "enrages," Rene Hebert (Le Pere Duchesne) and the Paris Commune leader Pierre Gaspard Chaumette; then the moderate "indulgents," who eventually included Camille Desmoulins and Georges Danton, the titan of the Revolution himself.

Even Stalin's sanguinary State Prosecutor, the odious Andrey Vyshinsky tormenting and haranguing "enemies of the people" during the secret or kangaroo trials of the great purges cannot help but elicit in the reader the sinister, bloodthirsty images of Fouquier-Tinville, the Prosecutor for the Revolutionary Tribunals during the French Revolution, acting under orders from Robespierre, just as Vyshinsky acted under orders from Stalin, administering grotesque impersonations of justice, preordained executions and the perpetuation of terror. But unlike the reign of terror of Robespierre that lasted less than two years, Stalin's terror lasted decades, fluctuating in intensity as he saw fit during the entire period of his emerging dictatorship from approximately 1924 until the very day of his death, March 5, 1953! And his legacy of totalitarian communism lived on until 1991!

With good reason, the Girondin Deputy and orator, Pierre Vergniaud, exclaimed, "The revolution, like Saturn, devours its own children." And so it did in Russia, and in the end, only Stalin and his loyal inner circle of henchmen (dissimulating or not) survived, Beria (briefly), Malenkov, Molotov, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Bulganin, and Khrushchev.

While General Volkogonov describes the brutality and the crimes of the Stalin years in graphic detail, reconstructed from interviews, as well as secret documents from the archives of the Communist Party of the USSR, military records, Comintern papers, and letters -- we must also keep in mind that Intelligence (NKVD) records were not available to him.

Ironically, for secret foreign intelligence and Stalin's use of espionage and the KGB against the United States and Western Europe, we must still turn to other materials mostly collected and published in the West (e.g., books on the decrypted Venona documents, the Mitrokhin Archives, and the excellent work of the British historian Christopher Andrew).

Thumbs up! This is an excellent translation of an absorbing, poignant biography, encyclopedic in its extent, moral in its tone, graphic in its depiction, enlightening in its understanding--- all this, despite my gentle criticisms. This is the first and most complete biography of Stalin up to the time of Gorbachev's glasnost period. It would be superseded only by Edvard Radzinsky's Stalin (1996), which is also highly recommended.

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is the author of Cuba in Revolution---Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002)
Chankane
Written before the collapse of the USSR, you can see Volkogonov trimming his sails here much more than in his later biography of Lenin. Still a brilliant analysis. I'll miss you, Dmitri.
Nothing personal
Good treaty on Stalin. Volkogonof is an Stalinist historian. Valuable book
Cerekelv
Interesting.
Zodama
I bought this book first when I was in Russia. I bought it in the original Russian. I had already read Volkogonovs study of Lenin and Trotsky and his book 'Autopsy of the Soviet empire'. THis, though, is the seminal work of a man who passed far to quickly from our view. He had yearned to detail the crimes of Stalin, the secrets also. This grand book details many obscure facts not found in other books. DIsjointed writing,as anyone fmailiar with VOlkogonov knows, this book nevertheless is very readable. Many critisize this saying it was not written by a true historian, its not organized, it smacks of a freshmens writing, in that it does not develop a topic thouroughly before going on to something else. It jumps around. THis is all true. Mr. Volkogonov was not a writer by trade. He was a military bureacrat who yearned to breeth free and compiled this information, independent of the west, for years before publishing his account after the fall of the Soviet empire. If we view it that way this book is unique, it is a testimony of a man who witnessed the evils of the Soviet system, who knew personally what Stalin had done and wanted to expose it. He could weight the good and the bad. This book is invaluable as history. It is by a Russian writing about the failings of his own country, in its formative period nonetheless. A must have and a must read. A landmark in Soviet studies.
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