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Contrasting, Unknown Stalin By Zhores Medvedev And Stalin:Breaker Of Nations By Robert Conquest

1558 words - 7 pages

The impact Stalin has had on the world is immense and at some periods in history devastating. Contrasting, Unknown Stalin by Zhores Medvedev and Stalin:Breaker of Nations by Robert Conquest, to gain different historical perspectives of Stalin. Medvedev does not go into much detail into Stalin’s rise to power in the beginning of the book but starts with his death. He takes an approach giving a historical portrayal of Stalin that focuses not only on how callus and brutal he could be, but how all of his success was made possible by his patience and intelligence . In contrast, Conquest’s book he begins with Stalin’s birth, like many biographies, and his rise in the ranks in the Bolshevik ...view middle of the document...

Stalin used Bukharin's talented speech writing skills to promote himself and the Party domestically and internationally. Bukharin was aware of the danger he was in as a past rival and would fear his growing popularity as his literature and speeches were continually praised (many of the speeches were vetted by Stalin or his office). As the purges within the Party continued in 1935, new accusations against Bukharin were made which brought Bukharin into a terror filled scramble to proclaim his innocence. Stalin most likely had already decided his fate but played mind games like inviting Bukharin to accompany him to watch the Red Square celebrations ( Medvedev 276) and his eminent eviction from his Kremlin apartment only to be stopped under a convenient call from Stalin himself.( Medvedev 277) Stalin took pleasure in destroying his enemies and the final testament of that was how Stalin kept Bukharin's last written letter like a trophy earned after the complete, complete in that Bukharin body, mind, and pride were destroyed, defeat of a rival.
Within Conquest’s book we get a better sense of Stalin's long term rise to power as he maneuvers his way as the unrivaled leader of the Soviet Union. Conquest argues that Party members in the mid-1920's were incompetent in matters of politics because the entire basis of it was based on each sides theory on Marxism/Leninism and not shifting ones self to a better position of power.(131) Stalin did not have this problem has he shifts his political ideologies to better position himself within the government in gradual steps. Once the Leftist opposition noticed his rise it was too late, Stalin developed his own following and attracted delegate members away from his opposition. Although the Rightist supported Stalin at first they came to the same late conclusion that the leftist did: that Stalin would run them out of power, gain power for himself, and want revenge for any actions taken against him. Many of Stalin’s victims were past allies in his rise to power. He would use this tactic to convince Roosevelt that he supported his post war plan for Europe. Once Stalin achieved political success he began to implement industrial and agricultural policies that he deemed necessary for the advancement of the state. Although according to Conquest ,Soviet economists disagreed with the practicality of his policies and were later purged.
His use of purging academics who did not follow his directives was standard practice. During the great terror academics that went against the Stalin's Party ideology were shot, devastating academies thought out the Soviet Union. Although post World War Two, Stalin would still remove academics from their academies and position if he found it countered Party ideology and have them arrested. The case of Colonel Yevgeny Razin was a perfect example of this as Razin, a military historian , studies the accomplishments of Gen. Clausewitz during post war Soviet Union. When Razin's work was deemed...

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