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The secret file of Joseph Stalin : a hidden life /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Frank Cass, 2001
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This account of Stalin's life begins with his early years, the family breakup caused by the suspicion that the boy was the result of an adulterous affair, the abuse by his father and the growth of the traumatized boy into criminal, spy, and finally one of the 20th century's political monsters.


Harold Shukman
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgementsp. xix
1The Roots of Evilp. 1
2'Samedov Disease'p. 16
3Meeting the 'Mountain Eagle'p. 30
4The Murder of Vissarionp. 38
5The Betrayal of the Avlabar Pressp. 47
6The Hotel Bristolp. 51
7The Great Tiflis Bank Robberyp. 58
8Colonel Ereminp. 66
9Koba and Malinovskyp. 77
10The 'Great State Scandal'p. 94
11'Iosif Dzhu ...? We've Forgotten. Very Important!'p. 111
12'Vasily ... So Far Unidentified'p. 121
13'The Gray Blur'p. 138
14Red Terrorp. 151
15'The Old Man Wants Poison'p. 162
16'Jewish Origin'p. 181
17Stalin's Okhrana File Found in 1926p. 186
18'Castrated Forces'p. 195
19Blumkin's Failed Missionp. 204
20The 'Kutepov Documents'p. 212
21'I Know What Kind of Revolutionary You Are!'p. 224
22'Why Did You Kill Such a Nice Man?'p. 233
23The Stalin Institutep. 240
24'Old Bear with a Ring in His Nose'p. 247
25'They'll Swallow It'p. 253
26The Fatal Find in Menzhinsky's Officep. 262
27The 'Tukhachevsky Dossier'p. 266
28The Forgery that Tells the Truthp. 280
29The Staged 'Trifle'p. 298
30The Mysterious 'Worker Vasily'p. 311
31Inhaling 'Poison Gas'p. 315
32The Murder of Trotskyp. 323
33'Ivan Susanin' and the 'Eastern Question'p. 330
34The War and the October 1941 Massacrep. 346
35Generalissimo with a Crippled Armp. 357
36'Murderers in White Gowns'p. 372
37The Murder of 'Dr Moreau'p. 396
38'You Can't Whitewash a Black Dog'p. 406
Afterwordp. 420
Select Bibliographyp. 425
Indexp. 443

Review by Choice Review

Stalin remains a highly controversial figure in the histories of the 20th century and indeed in the former Soviet Union itself. Revisionist scholars have attempted to portray him as a pawn of the people, a popular leader of the people, a practitioner of realpolitik, a tool of historical forces, or a common run-of-the-mill Russian dictator a la Ivan the Terrible. The newly opened Soviet archives, however, reveal a dogged ideologue who used terror and propaganda to cower and mislead his people. This biography, based partly on the archives, published sources, and the so-called Stalin File, examines yet another dimension to the enigma of Stalin. Brackman argues persuasively that Stalin's pathologies had their roots ultimately in a dark secret; namely, that during the period before the Bolshevik Revolution Stalin was a secret agent of the Okhrana, the tsarist secret police, and that once in power he made Soviet society a living hell to hide his earlier collaboration with the enemies of the communists. This is an engaging and provocative psychological study of Stalin. The book has a good index and bibliography and is recommended to the general public. D. J. Dunn Southwest Texas State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Roman Brackman obtained his PhD from New York University. A native of Moscow, he grew up during the Great Purges. As a 19-year-old student at the Moscow Oriental Institute, he was arrested and imprisoned for 'anti-Soviet activities' and for his attempt to escape from the Soviet Union across the Soviet-Turkish border. He survived Stalin's Special Regime Norilsk Prison Camps in Siberia, where he took an active part in the prisoners' uprising in the summer of 1953.

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