Synopses & Reviews
This book forms the second volume of Tucker's biography of Stalin, the first volume of which was "Stalin as Revolutionary". The author shows that Stalin was a Bolshevik of the radical right whose revolution cast the country deep into its imperial, autocratic past. In 1929 Stalin plunged Soviet Russia into a coercive "revolution from above", a decade-long effort to amass military-industrial power for a new war. He forced 25 million peasant families into state-run collectives and transformed the Communist Party into a servile instrument. In 1939, he concluded the pact with Hitler that enabled him to grasp at Eastern Europe while Hitler made war in the West. Tucker brings a fresh analysis to these events and to the Terror of the 1930s, revealing the motives and methods of what he calls the greatest murder mystery of this century.
"Tucker's contribution is to document how Stalin became a 'revolutionary of the radical right' by consciously turning to history, not to Communist ideology, for his model of the state as the agent of change. . . . This is history as it should be written: compelling narrative, intriguing detail, bold thesis." Jane E. Good
"Anyone who does not read from cover to cover will miss the opportunity of gaining real insight into the forces that shaped the Soviet Union. This is the best book about Stalin that has ever been written and one that is not likely to be superseded in the foreseeable future." W. Bruce Lincoln
"Tucker writes psychobiography with tact and common sense, never letting Freud get out of hand, while his narrative holds the reader in grim fascination." Chicago Tribune
".Mr. Tucker's portrait is persuasive, not least because it offers a psychological explanation for Stalin's relentless persecution of his Bolshevik comrades as well as for the bizarre rituals of the Moscow show trials, in which he forced the revolution's leaders to confess to absurd crimes." Jane A. Taubman Los Angeles Times
"Mr. Tucker has hunted out the sources, and he has discovered and developed a great deal more than has been generally known. . . . An extremely valuable contribution to our knowledge." Jane A. Taubman Los Angeles Times
"To my mind, the most significant single scholarly contribution made to date, anywhere, to the history of Soviet power."--George F. Kennan
About the Author
Robert C. Tucker is professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University and past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.