Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1928-1941

Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1928-1941

Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1928-1941

Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1928-1941

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

The Soviet system took shape under the impact not of one revolution but of two.

We have it on Stalin's authority that the second started as a revolution from above. The official Short Course of party history, prepared under his personal direction and published in 1938, characterized the rural collectivization of 1929-33 as an expropriation of the kulaks comparable to the Bolshevik expropriation of the capitalists in 1918, and went on: "This was a profound revolution, a leap from an old qualitative state of society to a new qualitative state, equivalent in its consequences to the revolution of October 1917. The distinguishing feature of this revolution is that it was accomplished from above, on the initiative of the state, and directly supported from below, by the millions of peasants, who were fighting to throw off kulak bondage and to live in freedom in the collective farms. . . ."

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