Stalin : a biography / Robert Service.
- 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.
0 current holds with 1 total copy.
- ISBN: 0674022580 ($20.00)
- ISBN: 9780674022584 ($20.00)
- Physical Description: xviii, 715 p.,  p. of prints : ill., maps ; 24 ... Read More
- Edition: 1st pbk. ed. / Harvard U. Press
- Publisher: Cambridge, MA : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006, c2004.
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references (p. -680) ... Read More
Search for related items by subject
|Subject:||Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953.
Heads of state > Soviet Union > Biography.
Soviet Union > History > 1925-1953.
Stalin : A Biography
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Service, a fellow of St. Antony's College at Oxford, has written a compelling, highly accessible biography of Stalin. While the book lacks the color and drama of Simon Montefiore's Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (CH, Dec'04, 42-2375), it nonetheless presents new and fascinating information. Using unexplored archives and personal testimonies, the author shows Stalin was educated, well read, an inveterate disciple of Lenin, a dogged ideologue, and a man of uncommon brutality and paranoia. He was also a brilliant politician who became a murderous tyrant, committing unspeakable crimes because the times and conditions of Soviet Russia permitted it. His tenure saw mixed policies--industrialization and victory over Nazism versus collectivization and murderous purges--so his legacy is ambivalent; some long for a return of Stalinist glory while others cringe that the instability of Russia might produce Stalinist gore. There are numerous biographies of Stalin--by Leon Trotsky, Robert Tucker, Adam Ulam, etc.--but none summarizes quite as authoritatively the essential Stalin as Service's does. The book has an excellent bibliography and index. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. D. J. Dunn Texas State University--San Marcos
Publishers Weekly Review
Stalin : A Biography
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Here is a life-and-times biography in the grand style: deeply researched, well written, brimming with interpretations. Oxford historian Service, author of an acclaimed biography of Lenin, provides the most complete portrait available of the Soviet ruler, from his early, troubled years in a small town in Georgia to the pinnacle of power in the Kremlin. Most previous biographers have depicted Stalin as a plodding figure whose only distinguishing characteristic was brutality. But Service describes a man who was intelligent and hardworking, who learned from experience and who played an important role in the Russian revolutionary movement. On so many of the complex issues of Soviet history-including Stalin's rise to power within the Communist Party, the policy shift to forced collectivization, the Great Terror and the prosecution of the war against Nazi Germany-Service provides lucid accounts based on his own research and the most recent scholarship. Stalin was the key figure behind every major development from the mid-1920s onward. He based his policy decisions on his understanding of Marxism-Leninism and on a hardheaded, realistic assessment of his own often uneasy position and of the Soviet Union's relatively weak standing in the world. By providing such a rich and complex portrait of the dictator and the Soviet system, Service humanizes Stalin without ever diminishing the extent of the atrocities he unleashed upon the Soviet population. 47 b&w photos, 4 maps. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Stalin : A Biography
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Stalin has ascended to an equal plane with Hitler in the pantheon of world-class monsters and mass murderers. Yet, perhaps due to the relative unavailability of primary-source material, much of Stalin's life and his motivations remained a mystery. But recently released Soviet archival material, of which this fascinating and unsettling biography takes full advantage, has shed new light. Service, an esteemed scholar of Russian and Soviet history, does not minimize Stalin's crimes or absolve him of responsibility for the horrors of the Soviet era. He makes clear that Stalin, from his youth, was a damaged personality with a propensity for brutality against both friend and foe. But, as Service convincingly illustrates, this monster was a human who could write sensitive poetry, dote on family members, and inspire loyalty. Furthermore, the paranoia that permeated the reign of Stalin and led to the Great Terror descended not from Stalin but from an adherence to a pseudoreligion that encouraged followers to shape, even twist, their perceptions of reality to conform to absolute truth. A necessary reappraisal. --Jay Freeman Copyright 2005 Booklist
Library Journal Review
Stalin : A Biography
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Stalin was a mass murderer responsible for changing the political and social spectrum of Russia's old tsarist empire through unimaginably vicious means. But, according to Service (history, St. Antony's Coll., Oxford; A History of Modern Russia: From Nicholas II to Vladimir Putin), if we only know him in these terms we miss the full persona: "Stalin was a bureaucrat and a killer; he was also a leader, a writer and editor, a theorist (of sorts), a bit of a poet (when young) a follower of the arts, a family man and even a charmer." Service's volume is similar to Simon Sebag Montefiore's Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar in wanting to view Stalin out of the glare of myopic 20th-century writers. But Service's biography is full-scale, eking out the details of Stalin's childhood and education (including his nearly complete seminary instruction), while Montefiore keeps Stalin within the context of 1929-53. Service has used material newly released from Soviet archives to understand Stalin during the Bolshevik revolution, showing how he learned butchery from Lenin and struggled to survive as Lenin's successor. Service's biography is even more readable and accessible than Montefiore's. Highly recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with a Soviet history collection.-Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.