Stalin and Stalinism

Stalin and Stalinism

Stalin and Stalinism

Stalin and Stalinism

Synopsis

The second edition of a best-selling pamphlet, Stalin and Stalinism has been fully updated to take in new debates and controversies which have emerged since the collapse of the Soviet Union.Considering the ways in which Stalin's legacy still affects attitudes in and towards post-Soviet Russia, Stalin and Stalinism examines Stalin's ambiguous personal and political legacy, his achievements, and his crimes - all now the subject of major reappraisal both in the West and in the former Soviet Union.Joseph Stalin's twenty-five-year dictatorship is without doubt one of the most controversial periods in the history of the Soviet Union, and it is brought to life here for all students of European history and politics.

Excerpt

This pamphlet was originally written during March 1989, before the full extent of the dramatic revolutionary changes which shook Eastern Europe at the end of that year could have been fully anticipated. One by one, the Communist governments of that region were forced from office by mass popular upheavals; the most potent symbol of the post-war division of Europe, the Berlin Wall, was torn down, and events moved rapidly towards the reunification of the two Germanys; heads of government, presidents and Communist Party leaders throughout the region - people who had made their careers by serving the system originally imposed on their countries by Joseph Stalin during the Cold War - were sacked, humiliated, arrested and, in the case of Romania's Nicolae Ceauşsescu, shot.

Over the next two years (1989-91) the Soviet Union itself experienced a period of acute economic, social and political turmoil that eventually led to the collapse of the USSR; the abolition of the Soviet Communist Party and the ignominious removal of its General Secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev; the territorial dismemberment of the country into a loose confederation of independent republics - the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); the disappearence of the Eastern bloc's military organization, the Warsaw Pact; economic chaos and ethnic tensions within and among the former Soviet Republics, which in many cases led to bloody, and still continuing, civil wars.

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