(PDF) [Stalins Curse] ¾ Robert Gellately


Eign state I returned as a lackey of the Soviet Government This book gives us the history of Stalin s suppression of Eastern Europe how it tried but failed to do the book gives us the history of Stalin s suppression of Eastern Europe how it tried but failed to do the in Western Europe and how for a time he tried to impose his will on the Chinese Communists We are given full view of his cult of domination in the Soviet State much like Big Brother in George Orwell s 1984 For anyone who favors Bernie Sanders or any other Socialist read this book Socialism Communismsame thingit does not work and this book will show you why This book covers Stalin s rule in the USSR The part set in WWII didn t have much that was new to me but in the second half I learned a lot about Stalinism in the Cold War One of the best sentences in the book came near the end when the author tells us that trading freedom and political rights for the state s provision of material benefits failed Stalin new a lot He was smart sneaky manipulative and a good enough actor to hide his faults FDR Churchill and Truman all fell for the actor and didn t see the evil But he didn t now people and popular support is essential for a system to survive According to statistical analysts the human cost of Stalinism was about 31 million people including entire nations and not including those who died in WWII That s a lot of death for a system that failed Mr Gellately has crafted a readable account of Soviet foreign policy at the dawn of the Cold War Some myths are explored and debunked others are merely asserted as false with little explanation in the text The author asserts that Stalin was driven by ideology than realpolitik or his own personal paranoia but hardly proves that assertionIn fairness Stalin s Curse does come with a fair amount of end notes and sourcing Still as a lay person I can t take it upon myself to validate his research The author could take the time to weave these findings into the narrative a bit as opposed to simply stating his conclusions Show don t tell if archival documents prove his thesis then he may speak of those findings as part of the narrative Further he tends to lend a fair amount of weight to comments by historical figures when it fits his thesis but choses ignore those that do not Case in point Tito was nown to have uestioned Stalin s commitment to Internationalism but this aspect seems to get scant coverage in the work The YugoslavianSoviet rift gets ample time but the focus remains on Tito s intransigence his reluctance to take instruction from Moscow Why Tito s uestioning of Stalin s commitment to the cause is overshadowed by the comments of fawning sycophants is a mysteryOther historians Montefiore for example have documented with great
Detail Stalin S Pathologies 
Stalin s pathologies the steps he was willing to take to consolidate power Millions were destroyed as the dictator hardened a protective cocoon of paranoia around himself the Kremlin the Soviet Union and finally Soviet satellites In a sense Mr Gellately is being charitable by stating that Stalin s primary motivation was ideology as opposed to something base Further he himself would surely concede that these two concepts are not mutually exclusive Stalin was a man motivated by ideology AND a need to enhance the security of the Soviet State in turn his own power and well being as he believed he was the stateAny reader interested in the history of the Cold War or of the USSR will certainly enjoy this book The narrative has a good pace and you could certainly finish Stalin s Curse in a weekend It is possible that Gellately sacrificed his ability to present his evidence on the altar of readability The narrative simply does not lend itself to in depth analysis Still another possibility is that his premise is flawed and that Stalin though motivated by Communist zeal used his so called love for the proletariat as camouflage to hide his own sociopathic pursuit of power A serious analysis of the way Stalin shaped the communism first in USSR and then in Europe and AsiaEven in the Eastern European countries his army occupied after the war where he succeeded to impose communist regimes he couldn t have the total control he had in USSR Unoccupied communist countries such as Yugoslavia and Albania wriggled out of his controlThe Marshal Plan ensured the economic recovery of the Western Europe so the western communist parties he sustained weren t attractive enough for their electorates and despite some initial electoral successes they faded into protest parties continuously subsidised by KremlinI Nini knew the main events but the twist and turns of the various communist parties and their leaders described in the book enhanced my view of the periodSome lessnown points Poles and Czechs saw the red army occupation as an opportunity to deport their entire Germans population The ethnic cleansing was accompanied by violence and expropriation In both countries unlike Romania or Hungary it was a pro soviet sentiment in part of the population Tito was an expansionist who wanted to create a Greater Yugoslavia by annexing Albania Bulgaria and parts of Romania and Hungary After his breaking up with Stalin he ruled in Stalinist style murdering many opponents and putting possible opponents in jail Anti Semitism flourished in all communist countries In Poland after the war some returning Jews were I Love My Dad (Disney Princess) killed in a pogrom. Y 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 irrationalityept the Western leaders on their toes in a world that became 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 dictato. .
Lin publicly argued that every nation should have democratic system and Should Choose Its Own choose its own Privately he controlled each nation down to finest detail His strategy was simple set up national fronts in a country each would be a collection of communist puppet groups that would give the appearance of competitive political parties have democratic elections that would allocate power among those parties then when communism was an accepted fact lift the curtain and have a single communist party controlled by Stalin By 1950 he had succeeded and every Eastern European country was competing to be Stalinist than the othersThe last third of the book is notes and biographySeveral interesting insights emerge in this history The first is that though Stalin presented his reach for Eastern European control as
A National Security Issue 
national security issue USSR needed buffer states he was really driven by Leninist ideology that is by the goal of solidifying Communism in Russia then extending extending it across Europe and into Asia Another interesting observation is that the Cold War was Stalin s creation starting with the Berlin Blockade of 1948 which was initiated by a trumped up dispute over issuing new German currency A third is that FDR thinking that he could charm Stalin and thus work with him was hoodwinked by Stalin who charmed FDR into thinking that he would negotiate on any important issues Truman with the assistance of George Kennan s Long Telegram saw much clearly that Stalin s tactic was to pretend to negotiate until he was given what he wanted One wonders what we would have given away if Roosevelt had lived In this book we are provided with Stalin s conuest and domination of Eastern Europe during and then after World War IIThe author presents Stalin as the sole leader the dictator of the Soviet Union As he points out both Churchill and Roosevelt were duped by Stalin into thinking they could trust him They mistakenly dealt with him as they would another leader of the liberal democracies But Churchill did come to realize towards the end of the war that Stalin was not going to eep any promises he made on Eastern Europe such as free elections in Poland signified by the title of the last of his war memoirs Triumph and Tragedy I don t agree with the author s statement that Roosevelt lost out at the Yalta Conference He succeeded in his main goals of getting Soviet participation in the United Nations and a commitment to join the war against the Japanese three months after Germany s defeatStalin used the same techniues within and without the Soviet Union to dominate ethnic cleansing and a brutal police state with informers everywhere All ethnic groups GermansTatars Chechens Kalmyks Latvians Lithuanians Estonians were perceived as a threat and deported sent to the Gulag or illed off particularly the elitesPage 201 my book from Isaak Kobylyansky on resettlement of Tatars in the Crimea A sergeant read out the family s names and declared according to government decree you and your family are to be resettled You have fifteen minutes to prepare The next day they passed near another Tatar village It was completely deserted the people had apparently been removed the previous morning The houses were still unlocked and the eating utensils lay undisturbed on the tables The entire village resounded with the wild howls from abandoned suffering cows which had not been milked for two days It should also be pointed out that this occurred during the war when there was a life and death struggle with Nazi Germany In other words vital transportation was being used to move thousands and thousands of helpless people to the far reaches of the Soviet Union Not to speak of the police brigades involved in this who should have been used in the war effortWhen it came time to occupy the Eastern European countries Poland Bulgaria Romania Hungary the practise was fine tuned Initially for the first year or two a semblance of opposition was permitted but then Stalin s wrath came down and they became puppet states with the reuisite police This became severe after Tito s Yugoslavia asserted its independence On war s end Stalin did not want to acknowledge the Holocaust referring instead to Soviet citizens being massacred For instance at Babi Yar it was stated that 33000 citizens were massacred even though they were all Jews Stalin would give no recognition to any nationality Also he would not acknowledge that some Soviet citizens were culpable in the HolocaustThe author believes it was Stalin who started the Cold War It was Stalin who gave the green light for North Korea to invade South Korea Stalin refused aid from the Marshall Plan and then the Eastern satellites had to follow suit Western Europeans realized that they did not want Stalin as they adopted the Marshall Plan in the late 1940 sPage 306 If the United States had turned away from Europe those who condemn it for offering the Marshall Plan would blame it and rightly so for doing nothing to put an end to the suffering and starvation in war torn Europe In 1947 Czech Communist leaders expressed the wish to go to Paris to take part in the discussions of the Marshall Plan They were summoned to the Kremlin and told they would not attendPage 311 Jan Masaryk I went to Moscow as the Foreign Minister of an independent sover. 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 Gellatel. It has become very fashionable to repeatedly insult the Soviet Union when you talk about it I suppose scholarly neutrality shouldn t get in the way of self righteousness Books on Hitler take for granted that he did evil things and don t need to constantly point it out It s self evident When there is a moral judgment it s often in the prologue or epilogue The same should be done for the USSR or Stalin I definitely like opinions and an analysis of people s motives as a book goes along but I don t need it peppered with reminders of how terrible the people are and especially a tone that looks down on the subject The author s style is probably due to a legacy of the USA s policy of calling the Soviet Union the Evil Empire According to Robert Gellately the author of this fine book millions of ordinary people have been inspired by Joseph Stalin and millions have shouldered his actions and legacy as a curse Approximately 25 million people perished in the USSR as a result of some ind of repression the largest share undoubtedly during Stalin s reign Gellately argues that Stalin was a devoted adherent Stalin s reign Gellately argues that Stalin was a devoted adherent the communist ideology and cause He didn t view himself as an imperialist tsar but rather a savior for his people and everyone else The cult of Stalin and his style of leadership was emulated by communist leaders all over the world Gellately uotes a Bulgarian playwright as saying that the communist regime in Bulgaria drilled the idea that Stalin was the greatest man on earth An elderly Bulgarian farmer once told me that he wasn t a communist but rather a Stalinist His justification was simple if you are as formidable as Stalin other powerful actors would think twice before messing with you He went on to say that the US would never have invaded Ira if Saddam Hussein was as fearsome as Stalin Fearsome as Stalin was Gellately drives home the point that it was his shrewd political skills that enabled him to get want he wanted in various negotiations with Western leaders FDR and Truman had misplaced and naive views that conflicts with the Soviets could be resolved via personal diplomacy Bla bla bla Stalin is the one of the worst tyrants bla bla bla illed trillions with one handThe book for brainwashed apologists of the theory that the market itself will adjust everything and who considers economics as a study book of economic science not the bible of totalitarian sect s of so called liberlswho has in common with liberty as much as Hitler had An interesting look at the post war Stalin era making good use of post 1991 revelations from Soviet sourcesI gave the book four stars instead of five because the organization of the book the shifting between Soviet domestic developments and then foreign policy developments and then domestic developments in the then new Communist states did not *uite work for me I realize that it was very busy *work for me I realize that it was a very busy with important events so I understand the author s difficulty I just feel however that he could have arranged his material better Gellately uses an enormous amount of information in several languages he highlights Stalin s geopolitical designs and demonstrates against revisionist histoical claims that it was the USSR not the US and her allies that wanted and provoked the Cold War This is particularly important now when historical ignorance and poor scholarship meet in attempts to present a dangerously naive US politician such as Henry Wallace Franklin D Roosevelt s vice president from 1941 to 1945 as a vis This is a valuable complement to Manchester s The Last Lion much of which is about the budding relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill on one side and Stalin on the other to Max Hasting s Inferno about Stalin Red Army in Hitler s the Eastern Front and Snyder s Bloodlands about the 1939 Nonagression Pact s division of the Ukraine and Poland between Hitler and Stalin and the subseuent mass deaths by famine and violence Each book shows the disdain for life by Uncle Joe a disdain that went beyond even Hitler sGellately argues that Stalin was not crazy in the normal sense he did not like to ill people as a serial iller might Rather he simply was indifferent to the human costs of his policies whether they were military economic collectivization or political lost lives were the fodder in which Communism would grow Gellately throws out an estimate that about 50 million lives might have been lost during Stalin s reign half during WWII about half of that from combat the other half from collateral damage and the remaining 25 million from his efforts to pursue his economic policies eg his 1930s policy of stripping food from the farmers whom he characterized as rich peasants or ulaks and diverting it to feed the urban industrial workforce The first third of the book is about Stalin s manipulation of Roosevelt and Churchill in the division of postwar spoils how would Eastern Europe particularly Poland be divided would Germany be deindustrialized or reindustrialized Roosevelt for the first Churchill for the second how would Germany be divvied up This was the subject of the Yalta Conference which Stalin ignored when the time came The second third is about the postwar development of Eastern Europe with East Germany Hungary Checkoslavakia Estonia Bulgaria and Albania coming under the USSR s umbrella Sta. 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. ,

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Stalins Curse