Book Report: Joseph Stalin "Stalin" By Robert Service

1135 words - 5 pages

In Stalin, Robert Service portrays the Russian leader Joseph Stalin as on of the notorious figures in history. In his years of power and pomp, from the late 1920’s until his death in 1953, he personified the soviet communist order. Stalin and rose from extreme poverty to become the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century. Joseph Stalin was a ruthless man with a heart of steel. He overcame some of the worst conditions possible only to end up stronger than before. Stalin accomplished the feat of industrialization in a country that was far the other leading industrialized nations with his Five Year Plan and Collective Farming. He was a man of great power who ruled with an iron fist but, the fear he struck into others would ultimately lead to his demise.Joseph Stalin’s real name was Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili and he was born in Georgia. He had a tough child hood that made him the leader that he would be someday. His mother was a serf and his father, Vissarion, was a bankrupt cobbler. Stalin’s mother was a prostitute and Joseph would always get made fun of for it. Vissarion was an alcoholic and a violent man. He would often beat his wife and young Stalin for no reason at all. One of Stalin's friends from childhood wrote, "Those undeserved and fearful beatings made the boy as hard and heartless as his father." The same friend also wrote that he never saw him cry. As another of his childhood friends, Ioseb Iremashvili recalled, the "undeserved beatings made the boy as hard and heartless as the father himself," and in his contention, Vissarion taught him to hate people. In 1913, Stalin was falsely accused of Anti-Semitism. Stalin was a Bolshevik and a strong supporter of Lenin. The Menshevik leaders happened to be Jews. Lenin’s attacks on them had invited the accusation. Stalin’s repudiation of Jewish demands for recognition of nationhood and of entitlement to self-rule seemed another case of Bolshevik hostility to Jews. St. Petersburg police sentenced him to four years of exile. He was taken Turukhansk District in Yenisei Province in Siberia. He was stripped bare and fed poorly during his stay. He was under constant supervision and in freezing cold temperatures. Stalin would remain there for the remainder of his sentence. This experience only made him stronger as he would emerge with a sense to take vengeance on those who put him there.Stalin industrialized Russia with strong policies and a no nonsense attitude. His initial action was in his first Five Year Plan in 1928 that was to rapidly industrialize Russia, with an emphasis on heavy industry (coal-mining industries, the building of power-stations and tractors, and machine construction). Armaments were produced in large quantities. In 1932, the output of Russian industry more than doubled the pre-war level. New factories were built—the large automobile factories at Moscow, the tractor plans at Stalingrad, the steel plants and the hydro-electric...

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