Stalin and His Hangmen The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him Book ↠ 592 pages

Doc ✓ Stalin and His Hangmen The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him ☆ Donald Rayfield

Stalin did not act alone The mass executions the mock trials the betrayals and purges the jailings and secret torture that ravaged the Soviet Union during the three decades of Stalin’s dictatorship were the result of a tight network of trusted henchmen and women spies psychopaths and thugs At the top of this pyramid of terror sat five indispensable hangmen who presided over the various incarnations of Stalin’s secret police Now in his harrowing new book Donald Rayfield probes the lives the minds the twisted careers and the unpunished crimes of Stalin’s loyal assassinsFounded by Feliks Dzerzhinsky 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 Leopold von Ranke once said that an historian should write well but not too well and Rayfield almost falls into this latter category Moreover there is no attempt to hide his absolute contempt for Stalin; he does not refrain from using moral adjectives; and so his book gains readability but looses a touch of objectivity Hence the missing starThat said this is an outstanding book readable intense clearly authoritative Rayfield is fluent in Russian and Georgian and appears to have a full grasp of primary sourcesThe book is structured as a largely chronological account first of Stalin and then of the various and successive heads of the OGPUNKVDetc This gives Rayfield a chance to proceed historically while at the same time presents 'mini biographies' of ALL the principal actors from Lenin to Khruschiev There is thus a great deal on Dzierzynski Rayfield uses unconvential spellings Menzhinsky Orjonikidze Iagoda Ezhov and Beria on the Collectivization and the famines on the great purges the show trials the Great Terror and so forth putting all into clear focus He also covers all the other figures in some depth from Lenin and Krupskaia to Trotsky Zinoviev Kamenev Molotov the murders of men like Babel and Mandalstam Katyn and much much elseAnd his portrait of Stalin is to say the least both balanced and utterly convincing and chillingThe one real surprise is his account of the radical and rapid thaw that Beria oversaw in the 100 days after Stalin's death For Rayfield Beria who was undoubtedly blood thirsty and lecherous found a germ of humanity and uickly moved to implement it He was then murdered by Khruschiev and Molotov and the others because he was moving to liberalize too uickly I don't know if this interpretation found at the end of the book will withstand scrutiny On the other hand he does allow that Khruschiev also eventually found a bit of humanity within himself Putin is then placed right in the grand tradition of other NKVD luminaries minus the alleged and late blooming 'humanity' of BeriaI have tended to find long books on Stalin and his regime a bit dull perhaps because they are such drab and unfeeling creatures but this one under 500 pages serves as an excellent account and an excellent introductory account of the entire period45 stars and highly recommended

Reader Stalin and His Hangmen The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him

Stalin and His Hangmen The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him’s ruthless consolidation of power But brutal as it was the Cheka under Dzerzhinsky 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 sadismAs 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 lig Rayfield's careful research focuses on Stalin and the assorted secret police leaders who served him While Stalin clearly bears chief responsibility for his murderous regime he found in the likes of Dzerzhinsky Yezhov Yagoda and Beria monsters in their own rights to assist him

Donald Rayfield ☆ Stalin and His Hangmen The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him Epub

Stalin and His Hangmen The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him Book ↠ 592 pages ì [Reading] ➰ Stalin and His Hangmen The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him ➸ Donald Rayfield – Stalin did not act alone The mass executions the mock trials the betrayals aHt 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 centuryThough 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 This was an excellent window into Russian history It also made an indelible memory of what an absurd life Stalin constantly cycled through underlings gaining their loyalty using them as agents and eventually discarding them when they began to accumulate too much power As each of these cycles unfolded it was shocking to watch a man's rise his fall and ultimately his destruction At the end of his own life Stalin suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed face down in his room His underlings found him that way and left him untouched and untreated until he died While they wanted him to pass off the scene so they could take power they also feared being held responsible if he somehow recoveredThe only negative of the book is that it can be hard to track all the names and the author sometimes fails to give enough help so that you can keep trackAn excellent read—both educationalinformative and instructive in life lessons