Posts Tagged ‘Stalin’

  1. The infernal patron of HR chiefs and corporate strategists

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    May 1, 2016 by AK

    Donald Rayfield, the British historian and the author of Stalin and His Hangmen, reviews On Stalin’s Team by Sheila Fitzpatrick: Two myths lie behind Stalin’s rehabilitation in Russia. One is that he won the second world (or “great patriotic”) war — though many historians conclude that the Russian people, helped by generous US supplies, won despite …
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  2. Fighting words

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    March 13, 2016 by AK

    In 1979, when Stalin turned 100, Stephen Cohen published an excellent article about Soviet de- and (partial) re-Stalinization in The New Republic. Describing Khruschev’s boldest criticism of the despot, later reversed under Brezhnev, Cohen observed: The vaunted generalissimo became a criminally incompetent tyrant who bore personal responsibility for millions of casualties. For millions of veterans who …
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  3. “What if it gets worse?”

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    March 12, 2016 by AK

    Members of Project 03/01/53 have interviewed over a hundred people who remembered the days of Stalin’s death and funeral. The stories are not representative of the whole country because most of the respondetns belong to the urban educated class, but it’s still a treasure trove of information. Most of the interviewees were still schoolchildren in 1953, some were …
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  4. Stalin’s last victims

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    March 8, 2016 by AK

    Robert Service on Stalin’s funeral in Stalin: a Biography: The funeral took place on 9 March. It was a cold, dry, grey day of late winter. The sun did not appear. Frost was heavy. The crowds were dense… The Imperial regime had become intensely unpopular when thousands of spectators were accidentally trampled to death on Khodynka Field …
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  5. Happy Cheyne-Stokes day, everybody

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    March 5, 2016 by AK

    Stalin died on March 5, 1953. This billboard, “He died: you, too, will die” – clearly addressed to the current master of the Kremlin – appeared this morning near the Paveletsky station in Moscow. For Kamil Ikramov, the announcement of Stalin’s death “was the first time I felt happy” because “he died and I still had …
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  6. Stalin died 63 years ago today…

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    March 5, 2016 by AK

    …unaware that in 2016, a certain American public intellectual of anti-Communist persuasion would pick him as US president over a New York billionaire! The neoconservative historian Max Boot was born in Moscow in 1969. His last name, whatever its provenance, sounds about the same as the name of another celebrity who sought to profit from war: …
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  7. “Kto kogo?” revisited

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    September 29, 2015 by AK

    Kto kogo? (no comma), from Lenin’s 1921 speech, is often cited in various political contexts. It is often translated as “Who Whom?” (with or without a comma), which is neither technically incorrect nor particularly helpful. In old times, “Kto kogo?” was a question spectators would ask while watching an A vs. B contest, such as a wrestling match, a sports game, …
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  8. Margin notes

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    August 17, 2015 by AK

    Thomas Mann wrote in his essay Bruder Hitler that the German dictator, in his “dreamy arrogance,” did not have the discipline to learn how to ride a horse, drive a car or pilot a plane; the man could not even father a child. (A little below the waist, the last bit.) Mussolini learned to ride a horse, drive …
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  9. Stalin the helmsman and the imitation of Mussolini

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    July 2, 2015 by AK

    This post has been inspired by this note by Language Hat on a slightly different subject. In modern Russian usage, “the Great Helmsman” is taken by default to be a reference to Mao. The word most likely to denote Stalin is vozhd’, a leader-chief hybrid. (Of course he was also the Coryphaeus of All Sciences …
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  10. Oleg Khlevniuk’s new biography of Stalin

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    May 26, 2015 by AK

    Oleg Khlevniuk is the foremost Russian specialist in the history of the Soviet ruling circle from the late 1920s until Stalin’s death in 1953 and of the mass terror of the same period. In his work, Khlevniuk largely builds on his own archival research and avoids grand theories and psychologizing. As Anne Applebaum wrote about …
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