Contrasting, Unknown Stalin by Zhores Medvedev and Stalin:Breaker of Nations by Robert Conquest

Contrasting, Unknown Stalin by Zhores Medvedev and Stalin:Breaker of Nations by Robert Conquest

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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 party, but his book is more intimate as it explains his emotional states. Conquest argues that Stalin's main goal was the preservation of his vision of Maxist-Leninism and the removal people he deemed as enemies of that vision. These books take different paths to understanding Stalin as a person and as the Head of State of the Soviet Union. Is Stalin's portrayal as a megalomaniac with an insatiable lust for control, fear and power accurate and how must we use his other social positions, husband, father, friend, and fellow revolutionary, to answer this question. Looking through these two books we can find the sides ignored by many and the sides that were rightly feared of Stalin.
According to Medvedev, Joseph Stalin’s leadership style was one that was molded from his need to control the situation and paranoia. Stalin did rely on his close network of political allies to effectively rule, but decisions that could affect the U.S.S.R must be authorized by him and no other person. (Medvedev 115) This made party members very nervous and also very repla...


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...n was accustomed to controlling those around him and that Nadezhda actions was her form of rebellion against that control.
The argument that both of these book have made is that Stalin, for all of his brutality, was a patient political leader that was concerned about the direction of the Soviet Union. The simplicity of “If you were seen as an obstacle you were removed” workered well for Stalin . Whether that future be political, ideological, or technological, Stalin deemed himself worthy of screening many aspects of Soviet society. Although we do get a portrait of Stalin's domestic life, that was of comparably lesser importance than running a nation with trouble developing a thriving heavy industry, defending itself from outside attacks, and spreading communist ideology. Stalin was a monster, but he built the Soviet Union from into an a world super power state.




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