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TitleStalin's curse : battling for communism in war and Cold War
Author Robert Gellately
ImprintOxford : Oxford University Press, 2016
Edition First paperback edition
Descript 477 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


This book is a chilling, riveting account based on newly released Russian documentation that reveals Joseph Stalin's true motives -- and the extent of his enduring commitment to expanding the Soviet empire -- during the years in which he seemingly collaborated with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and the capitalist West. At the Big Three conferences of World War II, Stalin persuasively played the role of a great world leader. Even astute observers like George F. Kennan concluded that the United States and Great Britain should view Stalin as a modern-day tsarist-like figure whose primary concerns lay in international strategy and power politics, not in ideology. Now Robert Gellately uses recently uncovered documents to make clear that, in fact, the dictator was an unwavering revolutionary merely biding his time, determined as ever to establish Communist regimes across Europe and beyond, and that his actions during these years (and the poorly calculated Western responses) set in motion what would eventually become the Cold War. Gellately takes us behind the scenes. We see the dictator disguising his political ambitions and prioritizing the future of Communism, even as he pursued the war against Hitler. Along the way, the ascetic dictator's Machiavellian moves and bouts of irrationality kept the Western leaders on their toes, in a world that became more dangerous and divided year by year. Exciting, deeply engaging, and shrewdly perceptive, Stalin's Curse is an unprecedented revelation of the sinister machinations of the Soviet dictator. - Publisher


The Stalinist revolution -- Making the Stalinist revolution -- Exterminating internal threats to socialist unity -- War and illusions -- Soviet aims and Western concessions -- Taking Eastern Europe -- The communists in Berlin -- Restoring the Stalinist dictatorship in a broken society -- Shadows of the Cold War -- Stalin and Truman: false starts -- Potsdam, the bomb and Asia -- Soviet retribution and post-war trials -- Settling retribution and ethnic groups -- Reaffirming communist ideology -- Stalin's Cold War -- New communist regimes in Poland and Czechoslovakia -- The pattern of dictatorships: Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary -- Communism in Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece -- The passing of the communist moment in Western Europe -- Stalin's choices and the future of Europe -- Stalinist failures: Yugoslavia and Germany -- Looking at Asia from the Kremlin -- New waves of Stalinization -- Stalin's last will and testament

Stalin Joseph 1878-1953 Cold War Communism -- Europe -- History -- 20th century Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1936-1953

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