The Reign of Huey P. An Autobiography Paperback by Benazir Bhutto shelved 2 times as political-biography avg rating 3. Debating the odds of a stock market correction.
One of the things that most interested me is how Deutscher, given his Trotskyist orientation at the time of this book's publicationportrays Bolshevik repression during their early days in power. Using national security justifications, the Bolsheviks threw political biography their early promises of socialist democracy.
But the Bolsheviks, pointing to the desire of many of their left wing rivals to compromise with the bourgeoisie on the eve of the October revolution, didn't want to allow them a chance to take power.
As far as the Kronstadt rebellion ofDeutscher allows that at political biography some of the rebels were radical leftists though he also claims that the revolt contained "white guard sympathizers. By the political biography 20's, the Bolsheviks had defeated the counter-revolutionaries and the invading imperialist armies; but the Russian masses were suffering greatly and a tyrannical bureaucracy ruled the country. For Deutscher, Stalin represents the historical "Asiatic" Russia-- with its feudal despotism and reactionary religious culture--which co-opted and deformed true Marxism.
He writes that Stalin took Lenin's "sociological" and "experimental" ideas and transformed them into quasi-religious dogma. Deutscher argues that Stalin's industrialization in the 's helped convert Russia from a largely agrarian society into a first rate industrial power.
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Deutscher notes that this industrialization came at a cost of political biography suffering to the Russian masses, whose standard of living was allowed to sink even lower than its previously dreadful state. By the early and mid's there was serious opposition simmering beneath the surface against Stalin's tyranny.
Deutscher writes that even Stalin's wife Nadia Aliluyeva expressed this opposition.
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One evening at Voroshilov's house in Novembershe spoke her mind against the "famine and discontent" in the country and the "moral ravages" wrought by Stalin's reign of terror. Stalin responded to her with much verbal abuse and she committed suicide later that evening.
Stalin moved to wipe out the discontent and destroy the last vestiges of independent thought with the purges of Deutscher notes that the charges in the show trials--with the exception of those related to Marshall Tukhachevsky-- were obviously bogus. Their political biography purpose was for Stalin--mindful of the looming threat of fascism and war--to kill off his potential rivals before they political biography a national security crisis as an opportunity to depose him. Deutscher's most impressive scholarship is displayed in the last part of the book when he deals with Stalin's alliance with Hitler and then alliance with the western democracies in defeating Hitler and shaping post-war Europe.
He makes substantial use of published diplomatic records and memoirs.
As well as diplomatic records, Deutscher's sources political biography include the published records of Soviet Communist Party meetings. Occasionally he makes reference to his own personal observations while travelling in the USSR. For example, in a footnote, he quotes a conversation he had aboard a railway carriage with a colonel in the GPU the acronym of the Soviet secret police in the early 30's.
The colonel was very upset by his own participation in the anti-Kulak and forced collectivization campaigns. As a Marxist analyst concerned with societal evolution through historical stages, Deutscher sees Stalin as an extremely important figure, comparable to Napoleon and Bismarck.
For example, while Napoleon eliminated or seriously weakened feudalism in France and the areas of Europe he conquered, Stalin moved Russia's backward economy and those of his satellites in Eastern Europe into modern industrial modes of production.
Deutscher writes about ways in which Stalin's Russia had superior qualities over Hitler's Germany. He writes that Stalin turned an extremely backward nation into an industrial power--albeit using barbaric means. Hitler, on the other hand, contributed no economic advance to Germany, political biography from its armaments industry.
Unlike in Nazi Germany, the classics of political biography and Russian literature were freely available in Stalin's Russia. Deutscher implies that Stalin's Russia, as it had evolved by the late 40's, was without the ideological controls present in Nazi Germany which impeded scientific and technological research. This seems overly simplistic at best. While I don't think I can unquestioningly accept every single idea in this book, I can report that Deutscher's prose is well crafted and engaging.
The book is not the work of some ranting sectarian but is intelligent and thoughtful.
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Other reviewers object to Deutscher going easy on Stalin, but it should be noted that this book was first published in Stalin was still alive, and just a few years earlier he had motivated his nation to crush the Nazi war machine. He had been an ally of political biography America and Britain, and there was no internal evidence within the Soviet Union of his many excesses. Khrushchev would not denounce Stalin until And it would take another full generation before detailed news of the gulags emerged.
I found this book refreshing, actually, now that it is political biography to research Stalin without finding lurid documentaries entitled Butchers of the Twentieth Century, Man of Steel Man of Blood, and other extremes. So Deutscher's book is a very interesting example of how pro-Communist historians were looking at Stalin mid-century. It is very hard, in any culture, to write a full treatment of a living figure who is still controlling the propaganda about himself.
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He is constantly on the phone to her and to Rupert Murdoch. His other great heroine is the Queen Mother whose indiscretions he records: The first volume is the one that matters. Chiefly significant for its account of the fall of Thatcher, but full of wonderful vignettes and spiced with hints of his political biography private life. Not every diarist can claim to have seduced three women from the same family. His life story is truly extraordinary, leaving school with just three O-levels only to be prime minister by the age of It contains a wonderful line about his excitement, as a political biography man, on attending one of his first political meetings addressed by a Tory grandee: If you already have an account, sign in.
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