Cold Peace

Cold Peace : Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945-1953

3.43 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In the period from the end of World War II until his death, Stalin became an increasingly distrustful despot. He habitually picked on and humiliated members of his inner circle, had them guarded around the clock, had their correspondence decoded by secret police, bugged the lines of even his most senior deputies, and even drove several to the point of publicly betraying their spouses in order to prove their allegiance. This book argues that Stalin's behavior was not entirely paranoid and erratic but followed a clear political logic. The authors contend that his system of leadership was at once both modern-Stalin vested authority in committees, elevated younger specialists, and made key institutional innovations-and patrimonial-repressive, informal, and based on personal loyalty. Always, Stalin's goal was to make the USSR a global power and, though the country teetered on the edge of violence during this period of acute domestic and international pressure, he succeeded in achieving superpower status and in holding on to power despite his old age and ill health.Based on the newest archival material available, including personal correspondence, drafts of Central Committee paperwork, new memoirs, and interviews with former functionaries and the families of Politburo members, this book will appeal to all those interested in Soviet history, political history, and the biographies of dictators.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 164 x 236 x 22mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0195165810
  • 9780195165814

About Yoram Gorlizki

Yoram Gorlizki teaches Russian politics and history at the University of Manchester, where he is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government, and Oleg Khlevniuk is a Senior Research Fellow at the State Archive of the Russian Federation.show more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION; PART I: RECONSTRUCTION; 1. A RETURN TO ORDER; 2. STATE BUILDING STALIN-STYLE; PART II: STALIN'S SHIFT; 3. THE POLITBURO'S LAST PURGE; 4. PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE: COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND STALINIST CONTROL; PART III: STALIN'S LEGACY; 5. AWAKENING TO CRISIS; 6. STALIN'S LAST STRUGGLE; CONCLUSIONshow more

Review quote

This is a valuable account of a period one hopes will never be seen again in Russia. David Winnick, Tribune Cold Peace is a masterful analysis of high politics around Stalin in the least known period of his autocracy. Dark, grim, subtle, crackling with the electricity of Stalin's seething personality and constant manouvreing, this brilliant book delivers readable narrative history, superb archival research and a splendid analysis of that terrifying character: it destroys myths with the same facility that it unveils new fascinations. Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Spectator ... the authors are highly distinguished -- Yoram Gorlizki is one of the best of the new British generation of Soviet specialists; the outstanding Oleg Khlevniuk is now the pre-eminent Russian historian of the Stalin period. Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Spectator In this tour de force, the authors have cast light on the most mysterious years of Stalin's rule and made them their own. Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Spectator Never do [the authors] stoop for effect or melodrama but their analysis is always urbane and worldly while utterly at home in the nightmarish world of Stalin's mind and the drab insanity of the high bureaucracy. Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Spectatorshow more

Rating details

16 ratings
3.43 out of 5 stars
5 6% (1)
4 50% (8)
3 31% (5)
2 6% (1)
1 6% (1)
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