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Synopsis

This book presents a comprehensive analysis of the political thought of Joseph Stalin. Making full use of the documentation that has recently become available, including Stalin's private library with his handwritten margin notes, the book provides many insights on Stalin, and also on western and Russian Marxist intellectual traditions. Overall, the book argues that Stalin's political thought is not primarily indebted to the Russian autocratic tradition, but belongs to a tradition of revolutionary patriotism that stretches back through revolutionary Marxism to Jacobin thought in the French Revolution. It makes interesting comparisons between Stalin, Lenin, Bukharin and Trotsky, and explains a great deal about the mindset of those brought up in the Stalinist era, and about the era's many key problems, including the industrial revolution from above, socialist cultural policy, Soviet treatment of nationalities, pre-war and Cold War foreign policy, and the purges.

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