In Stalin s Shadow Career of Sergo Ordzhonikidze

Author: Oleg V. Khlevniuk
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317468236
Format: PDF, ePub
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In the voluminous secret history of the 1930s, one episode that still puzzles researchers is the death in 1937 of one of Stalin's key allies - his fellow Georgian, G.K. Ordzhonikidze. Whether he took his own life or, like Kirov, was murdered, the case of Ordzhonikidze intersects several long-debated problems in Soviet political history. What role did Politburo members play in decision making during the Stalin era? What formed the basis of Stalin's alliances? Were there conflicts between Stalin and his comrades and, if so, how far did they go? Was there in fact opposition to Stalin? These and other questions are addressed by one of Russia's best young historians whose pioneering work in previously closed party and government archives is refining our understanding of the political history of the Stalin era.

Ruling Russia

Author: William Zimmerman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400880831
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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When the Soviet Union collapsed, many hoped that Russia's centuries-long history of autocratic rule might finally end. Yet today’s Russia appears to be retreating from democracy, not progressing toward it. Ruling Russia is the only book of its kind to trace the history of modern Russian politics from the Bolshevik Revolution to the presidency of Vladimir Putin. It examines the complex evolution of communist and post-Soviet leadership in light of the latest research in political science, explaining why the democratization of Russia has all but failed. William Zimmerman argues that in the 1930s the USSR was totalitarian but gradually evolved into a normal authoritarian system, while the post-Soviet Russian Federation evolved from a competitive authoritarian to a normal authoritarian system in the first decade of the twenty-first century. He traces how the selectorate—those empowered to choose the decision makers—has changed across different regimes since the end of tsarist rule. The selectorate was limited in the period after the revolution, and contracted still further during Joseph Stalin’s dictatorship, only to expand somewhat after his death. Zimmerman also assesses Russia’s political prospects in future elections. He predicts that while a return to totalitarianism in the coming decade is unlikely, so too is democracy. Rich in historical detail, Ruling Russia is the first book to cover the entire period of the regime changes from the Bolsheviks to Putin, and is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand why Russia still struggles to implement lasting democratic reforms.

The History of the Gulag

Author: Олег Витальевич Хлевнюк
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300092844
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The human cost of the Gulag, the Soviet labor camp system in which millions of people were imprisoned between 1920 and 1956, was staggering. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others after him have written movingly about the Gulag, yet never has there been a thorough historical study of this unique and tragic episode in Soviet history. This groundbreaking book presents the first comprehensive, historically accurate account of the camp system. Russian historian Oleg Khlevniuk has mined the contents of extensive archives, including long-suppressed state and Communist Party documents, to uncover the secrets of the Gulag and how it became a central component of Soviet ideology and social policy. Khlevniuk argues persuasively that the Stalinist penal camps created in the 1930s were essentially different from previous camps. He shows that political motivations and paranoia about potential enemies contributed no more to the expansion of the Gulag than the economic incentive of slave labor did. And he offers powerful evidence that the Great Terror was planned centrally and targeted against particular categories of the population. Khlevniuk makes a signal contribution to Soviet history with this exceptionally informed and balanced view of the Gulag.

The Economics of Forced Labor

Author: Paul R. Gregory
Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
ISBN: 0817939431
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Until now, there has been little scholarly analysis of the Soviet Gulag as an economic, social, and political institution, primarily owing to a lack of data. This collection presents the results of years of research by Western and Russian scholars. The authors provide both broad overviews and specific case studies.