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Lenin: A New Biography: Dmitri Volkogonov
09-30-2015, 07:31 PM
Post: #1
Lenin: A New Biography: Dmitri Volkogonov
Lenin: A New Biography: Dmitri Volkogonov

by Dmitri Volkogonov (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a notably revelatory biography, Volkogonov presents the most compelling evidence to date that Lenin, not Stalin, was the true father of Soviet totalitarianism. The author draws heavily on newly declassified KGB archives that he oversees as special assistant to President Boris Yeltsin. Quoting extensively from Lenin's once top-secret communications, Volkogonov shows that Lenin personally created a system of terror that laid the foundations for Stalin's dictatorship. We see how Lenin created the omnipotent Cheka, or political police, and immersed himself in its daily activities; launched an onslaught against religious institutions; initiated systematic extermination of the land-owning peasantry, or kulaks; and ordered the murder of Nicholas II and his family, then commended the executioners. Historian and former Soviet General Volkogonov (Stalin) provides new details on Germany's covert financing of the Bolshevik Party and, on a more personal note, of Lenin's 10-year affair with Inessa Armand, a relationship his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, tolerated. Volkogonov's narrative is indispensable for understanding the Bolshevik coup, their crushing of the democratic opposition and the tragic aftermath. Photos not seen by PW.

From Library Journal

Director of the Institute of Military History until the 1988 publication of his critical Stalin (LJ 9/15/91) forced his resignation, Volkogonov is now chair of the presidential committee examining formerly classified State and Party archives. As such, he is in an excellent position to provide a revisionist view of Lenin from the inside, and he delivers. From the beginning, Volkogonov challenges the assumption that Lenin's legacy was perverted by Stalin, documenting in detail how "on every point-peace, land, liberty, Constituent Assembly, freedom of the press and all the rest-[the Bolsheviks'] promises rapidly changed into cruelty, limitation, alteration, a different 'reading' or outright denial." Accounts of Lenin's cooperation with Germany during World War I and of the new government's using funds to further revolution abroad even as millions of citizens starved are among the book's most chilling passages. Ocassionally, Volkogonov hammers home a point overmuch, but that is to be expected of a disillusioned man with an important message. A sobering and authoritative book; highly recommended.
Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"

Product Details
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Free Press (October 12, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476764840
ISBN-13: 978-1476764849
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
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