Download e-book for kindle: Stalin: A Biography by Robert Service

By Robert Service

ISBN-10: 1743036590

ISBN-13: 9781743036594

Drawing on a wealth of unexplored fabric - on hand for the 1st time because the cave in of the previous Soviet Union - Robert Service's biography of Stalin is the main authoritative but released.

The biography concentrates now not easily on Stalin as committed bureaucrat or serial political killer, yet on a fuller review of his formative interactions in Georgia, his younger progressive activism, his dating with Lenin, along with his kin, and along with his get together individuals.

'This is successfully the 1st complete biography for the reason that perestroika to surround the commercial, political, diplomatic, army, administrative and, specifically, ideological dimensions, in addition to the private facets of Stalin's titanic existence . . . Gritty and unshowy, yet enlightened via Service's compelling characterisation, magisterial research and dry wit, this impressive biography of evenly worn authority, broad learn and impressive instinct could be learn for decades'
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, writer of STALIN: The court docket of the purple Tsar, Sunday instances

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43 An outstanding example was that of Veronika Kononenko, a journalist with the women's magazine Rabotnitsa, who published a piece in 197 4 about the plight of a young disabled woman looking for work in an isolated northern village. The woman had been ignored by the Komsomol and social security officials until she wrote to Rabotnitsa for help; the journal then persuaded a local newspaper to print her letter, after which she was offered training as a knitting machine operator. Kononenko herself helped trans,Eort the machine by boat to the almost inaccessible village.

As this chapter will show, even by these standards there was much to criticize. However, if one believed that standards were already too low, it was more natural to think in terms of 'crisis'. Citizens' expectations had a tendency to rise over time and assertions that all was well because life had improved since Stalin were often cold comfort. They had a still less convincing quality if Russian conditions were compared with those obtaining in Eastern Europe or even the Baltic republics. Soviet citizens were carefully informed about poverty, unemployment, homelessness and other social problems in the 'capitalist' world, while shielded from information about comparative standards of social welfare in East and West.

2 On the other hand, if 'exit' from the official structures led to the creation of genuinely independent organizations before 1985, these could be considered to lay the way for the mobilization of society which Gorbachev hoped to achieve and of which the creation of an independent voluntary sector would form a part. Referring back to the debates discussed in Chapter 1, Chapter 3 will show how an embryonic civil society existed even before 1985, in the form of independent organizations of various kinds, and a press which helped disabled people in their struggle against Minsobes.

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Stalin: A Biography by Robert Service

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