I liked this book a lot Once Kotkin is done, it will most likely be the series for anyone who s interested in delving deeper into who Stalin was and what he did Kotkin s meticulous style and attention to detail is very much appreciated, especially when dealing with controversial topics such as these. However, I was not comfortable giving this second installmentthan three stars There are a couple of reasons for that. The first reason is the most important one, and one I think greatly diminished my enjoyment of the book Kotkin has no understanding of Marxism whatsoever Don t get me wrong, he did his research and has demonstrated throughout the book that he knows marxist terminology However, he has no idea what those terms actually mean in t This was even better than Volume I if that is even possible Volume II gets into the meat of the dictatorship leading up to World War II The primary focus is the infamous purge when Stalin killed just about everybody The only rational reason for his unbelievable cruelty and sheer disregard for human life because he could There was really no rhyme or reason for completely decimating the entire cabinet and the military The best estimate is 750,000 people were sent to the Gulag to die or wereoften just killed outright in prisons after confessing to various and assundry fabricated crimes against the State ideology I thought my outrage was spent when he starved the citizens as a result of collectivization in such a cavalier, cold hearted manner What he d Prize Finalist Stephen Kotkin Continues His Definitive Biography Of Stalin, From Collectivization And The Great Terror Through To The Coming Of The Conflict With Hitler S Germany That Is The Signal Event Of Modern World HistoryWhen We Left Stalin At The End Of Stalin Paradoxes Of Power, It Was , And He Had Finally Climbed The Mountaintop And Achieved Dictatorial Power Of The Soviet Empire The Vastest Peasant Economy In The World Would Be Transformed Into Socialist Modernity, Whatever It Took What It Took, Or What Stalin Believed ☆ read ↠´ Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941 by Stephen Kotkin Î It Took, Was The Most Relentless Campaign Of Shock Industrialization The World Has Ever Seen This Is The Story Of The Five Year Plans, The New Factory Towns, And The Integration Of An Entire System Of Penal Labor Into The Larger Economy With The Great Depression Throwing Global Capital Into Crisis, The Soviet Union S New Man Looked Like Nothing So Much As The Man Of The Future As The Shadows Of TheS Deepen, Stalin S Drive To Militarize Soviet Society Takes On Increasing Urgency, And The Ambition Of Nazi Germany Becomes The Predominant Geopolitical Reality He Faces When Hitler Claims That Communism Is A Global Judeo Bolshevik Conspiracy To Bring The Slavic Race To Power But Just Because They Re Out To Get You Doesn T Mean You Re Not Paranoid Stalin S Paranoia Is Increasingly One Of The Most Horrible Facts Of Life For His Entire Country Stalin S Obsessions Drive Him To Violently Purge Almost A Million People, Including Military Leadership, Diplomatic Corps And Intelligence Apparatus, To Say Nothing Of A Generation Of Artistic Talent And Then Came The Pact That Shocked The World, And Demoralized Leftists Everywhere Stalin S Pact With Hitler In , The Carve Up Of Poland, And Stalin S Utter Inability To See Hitler S Build Up To The Invasion Of The USSR Yet For All That, In JustYears Of Total Power, Stalin Has Taken This Country From A Peasant Economy To A Formidable Modern War Machine That Rivaled Anything Else In The World When The Invasion Came, Stalin Wasn T Ready, But His Country Would Prove To Be Prepared That Is A Dimension Of The Stalin Story That Has Never Adequately Been Reckoned With Before, And It Looms Large Here Stalin Waiting For Hitler Is, Like Its Predecessor, Nothing Less Than A History Of The World From Stalin S Desk It Is Also, Like Its Predecessor, A Landmark Achievement In The Annals Of Its Field, And In The Biographer S Art I doubt that anybody will write a better orcomprehensive biography of the despot, as Kotkin calls the Soviet dictator, at least for many years to come The book will interest specialists and history enthusiasts alike It is the product of meticulous and exhaustive research and attempts to resolve several of the historical mysteries surrounding Stalin s reign Of the two, Stalin is by farimportant to world history than Lenin, and he also led ainteresting life Say what you will, but stories about ard car robbers are alwaysinteresting than those about losers, cheats, and cowards on the lam. This is the second volume of Kotkin s planned three volume biography of Stalin see Stalin Volume I Paradoxes of Power, 1878 1928 , covering his ascension to supreme Russian Hard going, but worth it Kotkin s attention to detail provides many revelations. Stalin Waiting For Hitler ist f r sich genommen schon ein ungeheures Werk 900 eng bedruckte Seiten plus einem 200 Seiten umfassenden Anhang in einer Schriftgr e, die eigentlich niemand mehr lesen kann Im Normaldruck w rde der Umfang des Buchs sich wohl noch mal verdoppeln Vier Minuten habe ich pro Seite gebraucht Dabei war das Historiker Englisch nicht einmal das Problem Aber konnte ich es nicht lassen, den einen oder anderen Character doch noch intensiver in der Wikipedia zu studieren Vier Monate habe ich mir Zeit gelassen mit einer Handvoll belletristischer Verschnaufpausen, wenn es gar zu d ster wurde. Und dabei ist dies nur der zweite Teil der umfangreichsten Stalin Biographie, die je geschrieben wurde Und es ist nicht anzunehmen, dass sich noch einmal jemand diese Flei arbeit aufb rdet Im ersten Teil sahen wir, wie sich ein junger, ideologisch beseelter Mann in den µ Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941 Ð Stephen Kotkin is a historian who has written several outstanding books on Russian history and is now in the process of distilling his lifetime work into a monumental three part biography of Stalin Volume 1 dealt with Stalin s early life and his progress from relatively peripheral disciple of Lenin in 1917 to Lenin s handpicked general secretary of communist party in 1922, to undisputed though not yet completely all powerful boss and ruler of the Soviet Union by 1928 By the end of that volume, Stalin was firmly ensconced in this position, having successfully seen off the challenge from Trotsky, who lost out partly because almost nobody around him liked him, but mostly because he was neither as hardworking, nor as competent, iron willed or crafty as Stalin It is true that Trotsky imagined himself as the real Marxist intellectual in this fig Kotkin s biography of Stalin is finally doing justice to one of the most extraordinary despots in history Although heavily biographed I know the word doesn t exist, but it should since his own days, only today is it possible to write about him as he deserves This second volume is even better than the first, perhaps because it covers the most interesting period in the Vozhd s life, a period neatly bookended by Trotsky s exile, collectivization and the first wrecker trials, on one side, and the Nazi invasion of the Motherland, on the other In between the story is so rich that even with nearly 100 pages per year, the book is almost too short Here we see many key episodes of Soviet history the Ukrainian holodomor Kotkin persuasively argues that Stalin did by intend to exterminate Ukrainians and that in fact other peoples, like the Kazakhs, lost a greate
This is a difficult book to review One can only admire Kotkin s very close attention to archival material, extensive reading of the second hand sources, his no BS, nonsentimental approach to his study material Waiting for Hitler, at times reads like day to day account or logbook of what Stalin did between 1928 and 1941 And, for the most part, this is the main strength of the book. Kotkin rejects two prevalent views on Stalin phenomenon One is Stalin was a psychopath, sadistic and paranoiac killer who enjoyed killing and torturing people Kotkin convincingly shows that far from being mentally unstable individual, Stalin was quiet an ordinary figure in his daily life He was seen by others who knew him personally perhaps little too cynical, manipulative and at times coarse But he was often kind to people around him, good liste dilemma .
About The Author
Stephen Mark Kotkin is Professor of History and director of the Program in Russian Studies at Princeton University He specializes in the history of the Soviet Union and has recently begun to research Eurasia generally.