The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 (Annals of Communism Series)

The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 (Annals of Communism Series) This Gripping Book Assembles And Translates Into English For The First Time Top Secret Soviet Documents From To , The Era Of The Stalin Purges The Nearly Documents Dossiers, Police Reports, Private Letters, Secret Transcripts, And Expose The Hidden Inner Workings Of The Communist Party And The Dark Inhumanity Of The Purge Process

John Archibald Getty, III is an American historian and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in the History of Russia and the History of the Soviet Union.

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  • Hardcover
  • 635 pages
  • The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 (Annals of Communism Series)
  • J. Arch Getty
  • English
  • 09 June 2019
  • 9780300077728

10 thoughts on “The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 (Annals of Communism Series)

  1. says:

    This book is not bad probably closer to 4 stars It is a survey of Stalin s Road to Terror.The book suffers from some of the flaws of modern scholarship an occasional need to quote Foucault, e.g., without spending the hundreds of pages needed to analyze the doctrines that Foucault espouses a revisionist theory, influenced by the functionalist school in Nazi studies, whereby Stalin fell into the terror because the elite polycracy was fearful of its position and not simply out of a psychopathic malice finally, sometimes it feels like he is talking to graduate students, without realizing it.Anyway, a fairly good summary, based on the vast archival horde that was released after the fall of the USSR.The book sets out clearly the current thinking on numbers by the end of the 1930 s, there were some 4 million people in prisons gulags not that many than are inprisoned today in the US though on a smaller population base, and with a much higher mortality rate Some 800,000 executions not the 20 million of lore , of which 85% were during the years 1937 1938 the Great Terror On top of this, another 1.2 million died leaving aside the starvations due to the Great Famine of the first 5 year plan in Central Asia and in the Ukraine So, 2 million deaths apart from the famine This is, I think, the current consensus view of scholars without any political axe to grind.

  2. says:

    From a distance, the period in the Thirties when Stalin serially maneuvered to eliminate allies and potential rivals in the Politburo, the Red Army, the regional administration and even the police looks like a decisive and systematic rise to power The Road to Terror by J Arch Getty and Oleg V Naumov, relying heavily on the Soviet archives, argue that the decision to focus on successive traitors was improvisational and even, at the beginning, based on a real sense that conspiracy was being hatched within the Party Getty and Naumov make clear just what a terrifyingly insular logic and language the Stalinists wielded Those accused were not even guilty until proven innocent the charges themselves were the proof, and the only recourse of those caught in the maw of Soviet justice was to acknowledge treasonous error in what Getty and Naumov characterize as a public rite of confession There was no appeal and the Politburo did not make mistakes if the campaign of arrest and execution it ordered had become excessive, it was the fault of those who carried out the directives Last year s ally in defeating Trotsky or Zinoviev and Kamenev or Bukharin or in carrying out a terror campaign was this year s traitor Three of the executed stand out Nikolai Bukharin, who spent his long imprisonment writing incessantly, letters to Stalin, Marxist theory, even a novel Marshal Tukhachevsky, a vicious hero of the Revolution, whose archived confession is spattered with blood and whose loss was deeply felt when Hitler betrayed Stalin and invaded and Nikolai Yezhov, the drunken head of the NKVD predecessor of the KGB and its current incarnation, the FSB, where Vladimir Putin built the first part of his career , who gave his name to the 1937 terror, the Yezhovschina The circular logic of the dialogue as the accused are confronted by the Politburo, including Stalin, is beyond even Orwell s harrowing rendition of the Soviet terror state in 1984 Thus, Vyacheslav Molotov, to Bukharin, who had argued thatthere was no truth in the accusations against him You re always acting as a lawyer And when Bukharin asserted the right to defend himself, Molotov continued, I agree, you have the right to defend yourself, a thousand times over But I consider it my right not to believe you Because you are a political hypocrite A key bit of evidence in a certain conspiracy was that two high ranking Party members had gone to pick out a dog together, which Stalin turned into a surreal series of questions was it for hunting or as a guard Did they get the dog Was it a good one It is a stunning performance of power asserting itself, showing that whether or not the accusation was true or not is beside the point, trivializing any effort to discover the truth or dispute the charges Even the medieval trial by ordeal at least admitted the possibility of innocence One finishes the book astonished at how devalued the English vocabulary has become, that people use the word tyranny because they lose elections or dislike policy No, Getty and Naumov show us what tyranny really is the pandemic abuse of basic human rights, an environment in which facts do not matter, where doubt and due process are weakness, the deployment of a logical system in which something is true because the right person has stated it.

  3. says:

    I used this for the primary documents, and oh my god it was BEAUTIFUL As a backstory the Moscow archives are almost completely sealed, only countries like the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, etc have their archives of the time of Soviet occupation open However, right at the fall of the Soviet Union, some Yale historians were able to sneak through the cracks and get full access to the archives In this book are almost 200 primary documents translated into English with AMAZING information I m seriously so so impressed.I m doing a mock trial of Josef Stalin for my Stalinism class, and I desperately needed a book with primary documents connecting Stalin s policies to the Terror directly This did this and Truly a wonder.I d recommend all of the Annals of Communism series from Yale University Press they are phenomenal

  4. says:

    Of the many different versions of this often told tale, J Arch Getty s is one of the best Eschewing the simplistic portrait of Stalin as an evil mastermind, Getty instead stages a complex discursive analysis of inner party documents, central committee minutes, and private letters documents made available for the first time in the 1990s The picture revealed is hardly one of monolithic totalitarian power, but rather that of a fractured party and state power with only a tenuous grasp on control of the country Stalin emerges as a major central player, but not the sole agent of events.Getty shows that the events leading to the terror were a complex process involving many vacillating and often contradictory politics and policies, as well as competing political camps Getty shows how the party, responding to threats both real and imagined, engaged in terror not as an expression of their political hegemony throughout the Soviet Union, but rather as an expression of its lack The image is one of Moscow lashing out defensively, truly believing itself to still be in a state of civil war And as Getty reminds us, many of the players in this drama, steeled as they were in the crucible of the Soviet Civil War 1917 22 , carried over into these new circumstances a siege mentality formed during this earlier period Getty tells of how the various terrors of the 30s were hardly streamlined and organized, but often blind, chaotic and only minimally controlled by Moscow Stalin and the politburo are seen frequently jockeying for power with regional party fiefdoms the NKVD secret police often running their own operations, exceeding orders from Moscow and frequently improvising In short, this was hardly a situation controlled by the demonic whim of a central power, let alone the external expression of one man s demented mind, nor even an a posteriori proof of the common sense truism that power corrupts.This is a dense history a challenging web of political necessity both perceived and real , unprecedented social revolution, political sincerity as well as opportunism, lies, accusations and killing As the terror reaches its height in the years of 1937 38, the reshuffling of alliances becomes increasingly difficult to follow, and the content of political accusations and crimes and incredible Getty navigates this history with a sure hand, and conveys these events in an accessible and highly readable language Although it is an academic text and not a work of popular non fiction, the story Getty unfolds is not without its dramatic tension and sense of epic history I even hoped against fate that this time they would not kill Bukharin But alas, they always do.

  5. says:

    A very information, in depth book, however a lot of the materials referenced in later chapters refer to documents from previous chapters Kept finding myself having to go back and re reading the documents referenced.

  6. says:

    But in another sense, the recourse to blind terror from the summer of 1937 was the opposite of the politics that had gone before It was an abandonment not only of the varying hard soft, moderate radical, legalistic repressive discourse but of policy discourse itself In the preceding period, even the repressive trend had always implied the primacy of Moscow and had been aimed at securing obedience and central control The 1937 38 terror was different Although it specified centrally planned quotas and procedures, it did not specify targets and left selection of victims to local troikas and other bodies Unlike the competing discourses about control and centralization in 1933 37, the 1937 38 terror was centrally authorized chaos It was the negation of politics.

  7. says:

    The book is a combination of documents and editorial comments About the extent and meaning of the Great Purge of 1936 37 of the Old Bolsheviks Stalin had successfully put together a nomenclature who were loyal to him and who acted on the basis of Party purity The economic failures that were blamed on sabatours and wreckers who were part of a nubulous opposition.

  8. says:

    Very interesting and believable read about the high level purges of the 1930s in the USSR Spoiler Stalin is not the omnipotent omniscent one I found this an absolutely engrossing book even with its academic pedigree Highly recommend if 20th century Russian history is your thing.

  9. says:

    Citado en

  10. says:

    This book is mostly a collection of archival documents from the years of screenings, purge and executions between 1932 to 1939 A great book for the people, who are interested in the period.

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