Stalin's Curse

Battling for Communism in War and Cold War
Gellately, Robert (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Stalin's Curse
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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.
Authors: Gellately, Robert, 1943-
Title: Stalin's curse
battling for communism in war and Cold War
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2013.
Characteristics: 477 pages :,maps ;,25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: 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.
Local Note: 15 53 118 152 173 216
ISBN: 0307269159
Statement of Responsibility: by Robert Gellately
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages [397]-456) and index.
Subject Headings: Communism Europe History 20th century. Soviet Union Politics and government 1936-1953. Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953.
Topical Term: Communism
LCCN: 2012028768
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Apr 21, 2013
  • mudbone rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Anne Applebaum won a Pulitzer recently for the Iron Curtain her book on about the same era and she makes this book seem like Stalin light.
Stalin's curse is psychological history light and is written in a decent attempt to reach the public despite its footnotes and bibliography/.
History has a huge market but perhaps historians should aim for the truth and not a niche. Conservative history, liberal history.
This book does not satisfy. Read Kennan on the same era.


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Dec 20, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Praise to God! Satan has croaked!

Dec 20, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

while the self-proclaimed master might lay down ideological-political dogma from Moscow, enforcing it was a delicate matter.

Dec 20, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The Soviet leadership approached international relations as a zero-sum game.

Dec 20, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

For him it was a question not just of winning the war but also of out doing the Western Allies in winning the peace.

Dec 20, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

What came to be called the Great Terror did not begin with a single order from Stalin.


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