This weighty--physically and emotionally--book speaks volumes about the play of individual and group memory in a totalitarian society. It grew from notebooks and files secretly kept by the Russian historian Roy Medvedev on the history of his times, from the emergence of Josef Stalin as a leader in the 1917 Revolution to the dictator's death in 1953. Some of the documents Medvedev gathered, including memoranda on secret agreements with Nazi Germany, shocked Russian readers when these notebooks first began to appear in 1988, and his book became one of the primary documents of glasnost
From Library Journal
Justifiably, Medvedev, the great Marxist historian, has called this book "the main work of my life." His conclusions remain substantially the same as the first edition of this volume ( LJ 1/15/72). Stalin's terror was a "deliberate policy and not the results of some persecution mania"; he was possessed by "limitless ambition and limited ability," and was supported by "a majority of the Soviet people . . . backward enough to be deceived." Some may feel the author fails to connect all this to Soviet socialism today. Nevertheless, the new edition's strength lies in the voluminous new testimony and findings, such as the assertion that in 1934 Stalin's poor physical health caused Politboro "to name a possible successor Kirov." Indispensable for larger Soviet collections.- Zachary T. Irwin, Behrend Coll., Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.