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Stalin and his hangmen : An authoritative portrait of a tyrant and those who served him [2005]
In Research Room
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Author
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Original Title
Stalin and his hangmen : An authoritative portrait of a tyrant and those who served him / Donald Rayfield.
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Language
English
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Published
London : Penguin Books, 2005.
General Information
Physical Description
xxvi, 528 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Contents Summary
Founded by Feliks Dzierzynski, the Cheka–the Extraordinary Commission–came to life in the first years of the Russian Revolution. Spreading fear in a time of chaos, the Cheka proved a perfect instrument for Stalin’s ruthless consolidation of power. But brutal as it was, the Cheka under Dzierzynski was amateurish compared to the well-oiled killing machines that succeeded it. Genrikh Iagoda’s OGPU specialized in political assassination, propaganda, and the manipulation of foreign intellectuals. Later, the NKVD recruited a new generation of torturers. Starting in 1938, terror mastermind Lavrenti Beria brought violent repression to a new height of ingenuity and sadism. As Rayfield shows, Stalin and his henchmen worked relentlessly to coerce and suborn leading Soviet intellectuals, artists, writers, lawyers, and scientists. Maxim Gorky, Aleksandr Fadeev, Alexei Tolstoi, Isaak Babel, and Osip Mandelstam were all caught in Stalin’s web–courted, toyed with, betrayed, and then ruthlessly destroyed. In bringing to light the careers, personalities, relationships, and “accomplishments” of Stalin’s key henchmen and their most prominent victims, Rayfield creates a chilling drama of the intersection of political fanaticism, personal vulnerability, and blind lust for power spanning half a century. Though Beria lost his power–and his life–after Stalin’s death in 1953, the fundamental methods of the hangmen maintained their grip into the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, Rayfield argues, the tradition of terror, far from disappearing, has emerged with renewed vitality under Vladimir Putin. Written with grace, passion, and a dazzling command of the intricacies of Soviet politics and society, Stalin and the Hangmen is a devastating indictment of the individuals and ideology that kept Stalin in power.
Subjects
Subject
Stalin, Joseph, 1878-1953.
Soviet Union. Narodnyi komissariat vnutrennikh del History.
Subjects
Subject Terms
Political atrocities -> Soviet Union.
Soviet Union Politics and government 1917-1936.
Soviet Union Politics and government 1936-1953.
Bibliographic Information
Library Special Collection
Bibliographic Information
ISBN
9780141003757
Holdings
Item TypeCurrent LocationCollectionCall NumberVolume InfoShelving LocationPublic Note
BookOSA Archivum LibraryGeneral collection947.0842/092 RAY-OSA RepositoryDonation of School of Public Policy.
BookOSA Archivum LibraryGeneral collection947.0842/092 RAY-General Stacks-
Stalin and his hangmen : An authoritative portrait of a tyrant and those who served him [2005]
In Research Room
BookIconBook
Cover
General Information
Author
General Information
Original Title
Stalin and his hangmen : An authoritative portrait of a tyrant and those who served him / Donald Rayfield.
General Information
Language
English
General Information
Published
London : Penguin Books, 2005.
General Information
Physical Description
xxvi, 528 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Contents Summary
Founded by Feliks Dzierzynski, the Cheka–the Extraordinary Commission–came to life in the first years of the Russian Revolution. Spreading fear in a time of chaos, the Cheka proved a perfect instrument for Stalin’s ruthless consolidation of power. But brutal as it was, the Cheka under Dzierzynski was amateurish compared to the well-oiled killing machines that succeeded it. Genrikh Iagoda’s OGPU specialized in political assassination, propaganda, and the manipulation of foreign intellectuals. Later, the NKVD recruited a new generation of torturers. Starting in 1938, terror mastermind Lavrenti Beria brought violent repression to a new height of ingenuity and sadism. As Rayfield shows, Stalin and his henchmen worked relentlessly to coerce and suborn leading Soviet intellectuals, artists, writers, lawyers, and scientists. Maxim Gorky, Aleksandr Fadeev, Alexei Tolstoi, Isaak Babel, and Osip Mandelstam were all caught in Stalin’s web–courted, toyed with, betrayed, and then ruthlessly destroyed. In bringing to light the careers, personalities, relationships, and “accomplishments” of Stalin’s key henchmen and their most prominent victims, Rayfield creates a chilling drama of the intersection of political fanaticism, personal vulnerability, and blind lust for power spanning half a century. Though Beria lost his power–and his life–after Stalin’s death in 1953, the fundamental methods of the hangmen maintained their grip into the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, Rayfield argues, the tradition of terror, far from disappearing, has emerged with renewed vitality under Vladimir Putin. Written with grace, passion, and a dazzling command of the intricacies of Soviet politics and society, Stalin and the Hangmen is a devastating indictment of the individuals and ideology that kept Stalin in power.
Subjects
Subject
Stalin, Joseph, 1878-1953.
Soviet Union. Narodnyi komissariat vnutrennikh del History.
Subjects
Subject Terms
Political atrocities -> Soviet Union.
Soviet Union Politics and government 1917-1936.
Soviet Union Politics and government 1936-1953.
Bibliographic Information
Library Special Collection
Bibliographic Information
ISBN
9780141003757
Holdings
Book - 947.0842/092 RAY
Item Type
Book
Current Location
OSA Archivum Library
Current Location
OSA Archivum Library
Call Number
947.0842/092 RAY
Volume Info
-
Shelving Location
-
Public Note
Donation of School of Public Policy.
Book - 947.0842/092 RAY