For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Stalin, A Biography in Facts
  • Gerhard Schnehen
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Stalin, A Biography in Facts.
Sound Bite

"If you can imagine a personality who in every respect is the opposite of what the anti-Stalinists are telling us everywhere, then you get a rough idea of this man."

-- J. E. Davies, US ambassador to the Soviet Union, in a letter to his daughter after meeting Stalin in the Kremlin

Stalin is commonly considered the quintessential "vicious dictator," an iconic figure of tyranny. But almost none of his many biographers has drawn on primary sources, eye witness accounts, Stalin's own writings and speeches, or what those people who met him had to say about him. This assiduously researched book is an attempt to get a little closer to the truth. It is based on first-hand observations from every stage of his life, and it evaluates numerous shocking tropes that were circulated by Stalin's rivals and made into our received view of his rule.


About the Author

For twenty years Gerhard Schnehen has been combing the writings of Russian, English, German and other observers to learn why socialism collapsed in the USSR and in other countries.

He has written books on the history of the German Democratic Republic, on Khrushchev’s putsch in 1953, the fate of four German Communists who became victims of the great purges in the USSR in the late thirties, and also on Gorbachev’s perestroika.

About the Book

The author cites well-known "court historians" such as Strobe Talbott, but also German author Lion Feuchtwanger -- who witnessed the Second Moscow Trial and studied all the case files, and K. Voroshilov -- who shows that Trotsky lied in taking...

The author cites well-known "court historians" such as Strobe Talbott, but also German author Lion Feuchtwanger -- who witnessed the Second Moscow Trial and studied all the case files, and K. Voroshilov -- who shows that Trotsky lied in taking credit for creating the First Mounted Army that was instrumental in winning the civil war. Many other authorities cited here are simply too inconvenient for today's career historians to consider. But precisely when examining the record of controversial figures such as Stalin and Lenin, responsible researchers seek objective information and avoid allowing their understanding to be colored by prejudice and superficial opinions spread in the Western media and education systems. Researching Stalin, his upbringing, his character, and his deeds, it becomes clear that there is an enormous disparity between the factual record and the despicable portrait we have been given. The author finds that socialism did exist in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, but later it was sabotaged, undermined and brought down by people like Khrushchev, Kosygin and Gorbachev.


Preface
Towards the end of his life, Stalin said : "When I die, my grave will be covered with lots of dirt. But after some time, the wind of history will come and blow it away." The wind of history has already done part of this job and blown away some of...
Towards the end of his life, Stalin said : "When I die, my grave will be covered with lots of dirt. But after some time, the wind of history will come and blow it away." The wind of history has already done part of this job and blown away some of the accumulated dirt, at least to some extent — mainly in contemporary Russia. But here in the West this wind seems still rather calm, even non-existent. Let us make this wind a little stronger and blow away the tall heaps of dirt from Stalin's grave, and to also sweep clean the streets of the history of the revolutionary Communist movement. This is not an easy task, as his opponents continue to smear Stalin's name and the revolutionary movement whose leader he was, making it virtually impossible for ordinary and truth loving people to see the truth. The reason: they still fear him and even more so the socialist system he helped bring about in the Soviet Union, and therefore they want people make forget what he has achieved for his country, in his successful struggle to build a new and better life in the Soviet Union, in his struggle against the counterrevolution in his country, against Trotskyism and the fascist invaders, and for the preservation of world peace immediately after the Second World War. He found a poor, underdeveloped, backward and half barbaric peasant country when he set out on his revolutionary path and was given the top job in his country. After his death, this former uncivilized peasant country had become a rich and powerful superpower with a developed industry and a modern agriculture, with a modern army, with the atomic bomb, with educated and cultured people who fought for the preservation of peace and for the friendship among nations and peoples like no other people in the world. This should be the main yardstick to judge politicians and great leaders, and Joseph Stalin was one of them, maybe even the greatest statesman of the 20th century. This is the first thing I wanted to say. But there is a second: In my view, it is not enough to deplore this situation, that Stalin has been and still is a victim of ill-founded denunciation, a victim of vicious slander and smear campaigns like no other statesman in the world. The question is this: Why is Stalin still uppermost in the minds of the ruling international bourgeoisie? Why do the penpushers of the ruling elites still see a necessity in disparaging him? There must be a reason, and the reason for this phenomenon is obvious: they still fear him, not so much his person, but the path of socialism he outlined. Stalin showed convincingly that the principled way of building socialism he stood for really worked, actually achieved results: it created a powerful socialist country which even the best equipped and modern Nazi army supported by international imperialism could not bring down to its knees. The socialist system he became the architect of proved to be superior to any capitalist society, be it fascist or "democratic". Stalin's socialism worked in practice, and practice is the criterion of truth.
Pages 426
Year: 2020
BISAC: HIS032000 History / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
BISAC: BIO006000 BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-386-3
Price: USD 23.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-387-0
Price: USD 33.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-388-7
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Reader's Comments

  • Steve Mack

    The USSR under Lenin was a "great experiment" according to the Western press back then. As soon as Stalin closed the central bank of the USSR in New York, the USSR became an enemy and Stalin a ruthless dictator. According to official records that were examined by the enemies of Stalin, like Khrushchev and Gorbachev, in 30 years of Stalin's rule 4.1M people were tried, sentenced and were either imprisoned or sent to Siberia, while less than 400,000 people were executed for crimes. This number includes war criminals that were executed during the civil war and WWII. (Note that US has over 2 million prisoners and incarcerates many more than 4 million over a period of 30 years.) Holodomor is a propaganda hoax. At that time, people in US were starving too. According to Stalin, Communists managed to develop ideology for a revolution, but failed to develop what to do afterwards. So, he developed the so-called Stalin's Economy based on cooperatives and a deflationary monetary system. Both of which were eliminated by the Liberals who followed. In the 10 years before WWII, Stalin managed to turn a backwards agrarian Russia in to a super power that defeated the combined might of Europe. Stalin's monetary system was based on gold and an idea that goods and services will continuously decline in price due to efficiency. Before he died, USSR's GDP growth was about 7% a year that would have produced a different world from the one we have... in which propagandists have to write fictional articles about Stalin's Socialism. PS. Today Stalin's popularity in Russia rivals that of Putin. People are collecting money to build monuments to honor Stalin.

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