Current Events & History

Stephen Kotkin introduces his epic biography, Stalin


Stalin is a detailed examination of a dictatorship, the Soviet Union, and the man behind it all. This authoritative, highly researched and expansive biography may be the deepest look at Stalin yet.  

Stalin, in three volumes, tells the story of Russia’s power in the world and Stalin’s power in Russia, recast as the Soviet Union. In some ways the book builds toward a history of the world from Stalin’s office (at least that is what it has felt like to write it). Previously, I authored a case study of the Stalin epoch from a street-level perspective, in the form of a total history of a single industrial town. The office perspective, inevitably, is less granular in examination of the wider society—the little tactics of the habitat—but the regime, too, constituted a kind of society.


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Akif Saifi is an editorial assistant at the Penguin Press.

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