Academic journal article Military Review

Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin's Russia

Academic journal article Military Review

Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin's Russia

Article excerpt

INVENTING THE ENEMY

Denunciation and Terror

in Stalin's Russia

Wendy Z. Goldman, Cambridge

University Press, Cambridge, UK,

2011, 336 pages, $29.99

WENDY Z. GOLDMAN has a reputation as an authority on family and gender issues as well as labor history in Stalin's pre-World War II Soviet Union. She has produced four previous books centered on the Great Terror and its impact on Soviet citizenry. Her latest book, Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin's Russia, specifically looks at the impact of the Great Terror in five large Moscow factories. To do so, Goldman has researched the stenographic records of Communist Party meetings held in those factories between 1934 and 1939.

The Great Terror (1936-1938) began as the state's attack on alleged saboteurs and wreckers and the hunt for supporters of Stalin's former rivals, Bukharin and Trotsky. It turned into a national mania of spy hunting; denunciation of coworkers, friends, and family; and the arrests of millions of people for real and imagined political and nonpolitical crimes. The Soviets admitted to convicting 1.3 million people and executing 638,000. Western historians such as Robert Conquest and Michael Ellman have put the actual figures at least three times higher. Russian historian General Dmitri Volkogonov, working with previously classified records, found that in 1937 and 1938 agricultural collectivization took 8. …

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