Assured Victory: How "Stalin the Great" Won the War but Lost the Peace

Assured Victory: How "Stalin the Great" Won the War but Lost the Peace

Assured Victory: How "Stalin the Great" Won the War but Lost the Peace

Assured Victory: How "Stalin the Great" Won the War but Lost the Peace

Synopsis

A detailed re-examination of historical facts indicates that Stalin could deserve to be regarded as a "great leader." Yet Stalin clearly failed as his nation's leader in a post-World War II milieu, where he delivered the Cold War instead of rapid progress and global cooperation. It is the proof of both Stalin's brilliance and blunders that makes him such a fascinating figure in modern history. Today, most of the Russian population acknowledges that Stalin achieved "greatness." The Soviet dictator's honoured place in history is largely due to Stalin successfully attending to the Soviet Union's defence needs in the 1930s and 1940s, and leading the USSR to victory in the war on the Eastern Front against Nazi Germany and its allies. This book provides an overdue critical investigation of how the Soviet leader's domestic and foreign policies actually helped produce this victory, and above all, how Stalin's timely support of a wartime alliance with the Western capitalist democracies assured the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945.

Excerpt

In canvassing Stalin’s supporters’ claim of the Vozhd”s (leader’s) greatness and the controversial treatments of the dictator by today’s Russian historians from their differing perspectives, we single out seven authors and their books for examination. Other authors, leading Western, Russian, and other writers, will also be examined. Some of the works by the highlighted Russian historians or memoirists have appeared in English and other languages. Others have been published only in Russian.

All of the seven authors to some degree are critical, often harshly so, of Stalin for his bloodstained record of leadership of the Soviet Union before, during, and after World War II. None of the authors, including even Vyacheslav Molotov, can be described as biased to the point of being entirely useless as a source of a number of valuable insights into the leadership of the Soviet dictator. A case in point here is memoirist Sergo Beria. He is of importance not only for being the son of a top Soviet official in Stalin’s inner circle, Lavrenti Beria, secret police tsar and overseer of the Gulag. Beria’s son was also an adult in Stalin’s most productive years. On many occasions he was in Stalin’s company and was privy to inside information about the Vozhd’ and Stalin’s policies as related confidentially by his father, to whom the son was close and with whom he had numerous revealing conversations. Sergo’s experience was firsthand. As it concerns Stalin, his account does not seem unduly biased one way or the other, especially since his father was targeted for purge by the dictator.

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