Read Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941 Online Free - Pulitzer Prize-finalist Stephen Kotkin continues his definitive biography of Stalin, from collectivization and the Great Terror through to the coming of the conflict with Hitler's Germany that is the signal event of modern world history.
When we left Stalin at the end of Stalin: Paradoxes of Power: 1878-1928, it was 1928, and he had finally climbed the mountaintop and achieved dictatorial power of the Soviet empire. The vastest peasant economy in the world would be transformed into socialist modernity, whatever it took.
What it took, or what Stalin believed it took, was the most relentless campaign of shock industrialization the world has ever seen. This is the story of the five year plans, the new factory towns, and the integration of an entire system of penal labor into the larger economy. With the Great Depression throwing global capital into crisis, the Soviet Union's New Man looked like nothing so much as the man of the future. As the shadows of the 30's deepen, Stalin's drive to militarize Soviet society takes on increasing urgency, and the ambition of Nazi Germany becomes the predominant geopolitical reality he faces when Hitler claims that communism is a global "Judeo-Bolshevik" conspiracy to bring the Slavic race to power.
But just because they're out to get you doesn't mean you're not paranoid. Stalin's paranoia is increasingly one of the most horrible facts of life for his entire country. Stalin's obsessions drive him to violently purge almost a million people, including military leadership, diplomatic corps and intelligence apparatus, to say nothing of a generation of artistic talent. And then came the pact that shocked the world, and demoralized leftists everywhere: Stalin's pact with Hitler in 1939, the carve-up of Poland, and Stalin's utter inability to see Hitler's build-up to the invasion of the USSR. Yet for all that, in just 12 years of total power, Stalin has taken this country from a peasant economy to a formidable modern war machine that rivaled anything else in the world. When the invasion came, Stalin wasn't ready, but his country would prove to be prepared. That is a dimension of the Stalin story that has never adequately been reckoned with before, and it looms large here.
Stalin: Waiting for Hitler: 1929-1941 is, like its predecessor, nothing less than a history of the world from Stalin's desk. It is also, like its predecessor, a landmark achievement in the annals of its field, and in the biographer's art.
|Title||:||Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941|
|Number of Pages||:||1184 pages|
November 09, 2017
As late as 1928, a knowledgeable observer of Russian politics might assume that Josef Stalin was a rational, if not blunt, political leader. He had not yet become the megalomaniac dictator who would cause millions to die for his death quotas. Stephen Kotkin, in the second volume of his biographic...
December 30, 2017
I doubt that anybody will write a better or more comprehensive biography of the "despot," as Kotkin calls the Soviet dictator, at least for many years to come. The book will interest specialists and history enthusiasts alike. It is the product of meticulous and exhaustive research and attempts to...
November 24, 2017
This is a difficult book to review.
One can only admire Kotkin's very close attention to archival material, extensive reading of the second hand sources, his no-BS, nonsentimental approach to his study material. Waiting for Hitler, at times reads like day-to-day account/or logbook of what Stalin...
December 06, 2017
Hard going, but worth it. Kotkin's attention to detail provides many revelations.
January 21, 2018
... and you think you have a tough boss??
This is the second volume of Stephen Kotkin’s biography of Stalin (out of a projected three volumes). It is an outstanding biography and I cannot wait for the next volume.
Kotkin picks up the story with the consolidation of power by Stalin and the move into...
January 06, 2018
My expectations were sky high for this book. Eventually, over the course of more than 1,100 pages, it met them. Volume one, Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, was superb. Here is my review of volume two:
The second installment of the historian Stephen Kotkin's planned three-volume bi...
December 07, 2017
Stephen Kotkin's second volume of his planned three-part biography of Stalin is one of the best biographies I've ever read. It is comprehensive, covering the events in the years 1929-1941 in great detail. It is also deeply researched, and Kotkin's enormous bibliography demonstrates his command of...
November 11, 2017
An exhaustive (and exhausting) bio of Stalin, documenting the 30s in micro fashion; nearly half the book's length is footnotes. The narrative begins with collectivization and deKulakization which is seen as the motor for much that follows including the terror of the mid thirties. The second half...
December 05, 2017
Interesting book on Joseph Stalin and how he ruled Russia in the 1930's. His reign was known as the Great Terror. He established gulags for his political prisoners and many died or executed. Stalin was ruthless during his reign in the Soviet Union as dictator and was responsible for the deaths of...
October 27, 2017
This is a Goodreads First Reads review.
Kotkin has created a masterpiece of a biography, one that is very, very thorough but also eminently readable. Like most biographies of world leaders this is a lengthy book, even more so that it only covers twelve years of Stalin’s life, but the information i...