Dimitrov and Stalin
Bulgarian Georgi Dimitrov, Stalin's close confidant and trusted ally, served as secretary general of the Communist International (Comintern) from 1934 to its dissolution in 1943. In this collection of more than fifty top-secret letters, the real workings of the Comintern emerge clearly for the first time. Drawn from classified Soviet archives only recently opened to Russian and American scholars, these letters offer unique insights into Soviet foreign policy and Stalin's attitudes and intentions while the Great Terror of the 1930s was in progress and in the years leading up to the Second World War. Annotated by the editors to provide the historical context in which these letters were written, the collection is vivid and startlingly significant. The letters confirm the complete dependence of the Comintern on the Kremlin, while also exposing bureaucratic maneuvering, backbiting, and jockeying for influence. These messages cast much light on the Soviet confusion about policies toward foreign Communist parties, and they uncover the extent to which Stalin shaped the Comintern. Stalin's perspectives on America, French communism, and the Spanish Civil War are recorded, as are his differences with Mao Zedong and with Marshal Tito at important turning points. With the publication of these letters, the history of twentieth-century communism gains authentic evidence about a critical decade.
Stalin s Cold War
This work offers a major new interpretation of the Stalin's role in the gestation of the Cold War. Based on important new evidence, Dimitrov reveals Stalin's genuine efforts to preserve his World War II alliance with the US and Britain and to encourage a degree of cooperation between communists and democratic parties in Eastern Europe.
Georgi Dimitrov burst onto the international scene in 1933 as one of the Comintern operatives in Germany accused of the Reichstag fire. The Bulgarian Communist’s spirited self-defence in the resulting Leipzig Trial made him a celebrity among Communists worldwide - particularly in the Soviet Union, where he became Secretary General of the Comintern after his acquittal. Popular opinion holds that this 'whirlwind', who defied Goering and the Nazis in full view of the world, subsequently became little more than a rubber stamp for Stalin. This lucid and fascinating biography - the first in English - reveals a more multifaceted treatment of Dimitrov, highlighting especially the deep complexity of his relationships with his two greatest political allies: Stalin and Tito._x000D_ _x000D_ With unique authority drawn from extensive archival research, Marietta Stankova strips away decades of conventional wisdom to reveal Georgi Dimitrov in all his roles: as labour agitator, Leipzig Trial icon, loyal Stalinist and Pan-Balkan visionary. Dimitrov entered radical politics at an early age and was a central figure in the formation of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1919. A failed uprising forced him into exile and brought him in disfavour in his Party - which he counteracted through loyal inconspicuous service at the Comintern, where he was eventually put in charge of the Western European section. Following his spectacular clash with the Nazis in the Leipzig Trial, Dimitrov was appointed General Secretary of the Comintern. In this post, Dimitrov was Communism’s ambassador to dissidents and radicals the world over. At the same time, he was deeply implicated in the Soviet political purges of the latter 1930s. Through these he also consolidated his leadership of his native Party but it was only in 1946, two years after the Bulgarian communists had seized power in the wake of World War II, that he was sent home to lead the new Bulgarian Communist government. Working against ill health and Stalin’s often unpredictable behaviour, he remained committed to the establishment of Communism in Bulgaria and to upholding Soviet interests, even if this meant the destruction of one of his lifelong aspirations, a Balkan Federation. _x000D_ _x000D_ Using new and unpublished sources, Stankova brilliantly reconstructs the dilemmas that Dimitrov faced throughout his long and varied political career. This definitive and long-overdue biography makes a major contribution to the history of Bulgaria and of the Balkans as a whole, as well as to the field of Communist Studies.
Stalinism Revisited brings together representatives of multiple generations to create a rich examination of the study and practice of Stalinism. While the articles are uniformly excellent, the book's signal contribution is to bring recent research from Eastern European scholars to an English-speaking audience. Thus the volume is not just a "state of the discipline" collection, in which articles are collected to reflect that current situation of scholarship in a given field; instead, this one includes cutting edge scholarship that will prompt more of the same from other scholars in other fields/subfields. I would recommend this book highly to anyone interested in understanding the technology of Stalinism in both thought and practice. Nick Miller Boise State University The Sovietization of post-1945 East-Central Europe---marked by the forceful imposition of the Soviet-type society in the region---was a process of massive socio-political and cultural transformation. Despite its paramount importance for understanding the nature of the communist regime and its legacy, the communist take-over in East Central European countries has remained largely under-researched. Two decades after the collapse of the communist system, Stalinism Revisited brings together a remarkable international team of established and younger scholars, engaging them in a critical re-evaluation of the institutionalization of communist regimes in East-Central Europe and of the period of "high Stalinism." Sovietization is approached not as a fully pre-determined, homogeneous, and monolithic transformation, but as a set of trans-national, multifaceted, and inter-related processes of large-scale institutional and ideological transfers, made up of multiple "takeovers" in various fields. Theoretically minded and empirically sound, the collection adds key elements to our comparative understanding of Stalinist regimes in their various historical permutations. The richness of the source material employed and its comparative scope recommend Stalinism Revisited as a major, synthetic contribution to the study of East-Central Europe's Sovietization. Constantin lordachi Central European University, Budapest
The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov 1933 1949
Georgi Dimitrov (1882–1949) was a high-ranking Bulgarian and Soviet official, one of the most prominent leaders of the international Communist movement and a trusted member of Stalin’s inner circle. Accused by the Nazis of setting the Reichstag fire in 1933, he successfully defended himself at the Leipzig Trial and thereby became an international symbol of resistance to Nazism. Stalin appointed him head of the Communist International (Comintern) in 1935, and he held this position until the Comintern’s dissolution in 1943. After the end of the Second World War, Dimitrov returned to Bulgaria and became its first Communist premier. During the years between 1933 and his death in 1949, Dimitrov kept a diary that described his tumultuous career and revealed much about the inner working of the international Communist organizations, the opinions and actions of the Soviet leadership, and the Soviet Union’s role in shaping the postwar Eastern Europe. This important document, edited and introduced by renowned historian Ivo Banac, is now available for the first time in English. It is an essential source for information about international Communism, Stalin and Soviet policy, and the origins of the Cold War.
Stalin s Curse
The story of how Stalin ruthlessly built his 'Red Empire' in the aftermath of World War II - and what inspired him to build it.
Stalin and Europe
The Soviet Union was the largest state in the twentieth-century world, but its repressive power and terrible ambition were most clearly on display in Europe. Under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union transformed itself and then all of the European countries with which it came into contact. This volume considers each aspect of the encounter of Stalin with Europe: the attempt to create a kind of European state by accelerating the European model of industrial development in the USSR; mass murder in anticipation of a war against European powers; the actual contact with Europe's greatest power, Nazi Germany, first as ally and then as enemy; four years of war fought chiefly on Soviet territory and bringing untold millions of deaths, including much of the Holocaust; and finally the reestablishment of the Soviet system, not just in prewar territory of the USSR, but in Western Ukraine, Western Belarus, the Baltic States, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and East Germany.
Stalin s American Spy
Stalin's American Spy tells the remarkable story of Noel Field, a Soviet agent in the US State Department in the mid-1930s. Lured to Prague in May 1949, he was kidnapped and handed over to the Hungarian secret police. Tortured by them and interrogated too by their Soviet superiors, Field's forced 'confessions' were manipulated by Stalin and his East European satraps to launch a devastating series of show-trials that led to the imprisonment and judicial murder of numerous Czechoslovak, German, Polish and Hungarian party members. Yet there were other events in his very strange career that could give rise to the suspicion that Field was an American spy who had infiltrated the Communist movement at the behest of Allen Dulles, the wartime OSS chief in Switzerland who later headed the CIA. Never tried, Field and his wife were imprisoned in Budapest until 1954, then granted political asylum in Hungary, where they lived out their sterile last years. This new biography takes a fresh look at Field's relationship with Dulles, and his role in the Alger Hiss affair. It sheds fresh light upon Soviet espionage in the United States and Field's relationship with Hede Massing, Ignace Reiss and Walter Krivitsky. It also reassesses how the increasingly anti-Semitic East European show-trials were staged and dissects the 'lessons" which Stalin sought to convey through them.
The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism
The impact of Communism on the twentieth century was massive, equal to that of the two world wars. Until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, historians knew relatively little about the secretive world of communist states and parties. Since then, the opening of state, party, and diplomatic archives of the former Eastern Bloc has released a flood of new documentation. The thirty-five essays in this Handbook, written by an international team of scholars, draw on this new material to offer a global history of communism in the twentieth century. In contrast to many histories that concentrate on the Soviet Union, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism is genuinely global in its coverage, paying particular attention to the Chinese Revolution. It is 'global', too, in the sense that the essays seek to integrate history 'from above' and 'from below', to trace the complex mediations between state and society, and to explore the social and cultural as well as the political and economic realities that shaped the lives of citizens fated to live under communist rule. The essays reflect on the similarities and differences between communist states in order to situate them in their socio-political and cultural contexts and to capture their changing nature over time. Where appropriate, they also reflect on how the fortunes of international communism were shaped by the wider economic, political, and cultural forces of the capitalist world. The Handbook provides an informative introduction for those new to the field and a comprehensive overview of the current state of scholarship for those seeking to deepen their understanding.
Roosevelt and Stalin
A hugely important book that solely and fully explores for the first time the complex partnership during World War II between FDR and Stalin, by the editor of My Dear Mr. Stalin: The Complete Correspondence of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin (“History owes a debt to Susan Butler for the collection and annotation of these exchanges”—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr). Making use of previously classified materials from the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History, and the Archive of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, as well as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and three hundred hot war messages between Roosevelt and Stalin, Butler tells the story of how the leader of the capitalist world and the leader of the Communist world became more than allies of convenience during World War II. Butler reassess in-depth how the two men became partners, how they shared the same outlook for the postwar world, and how they formed an uneasy but deep friendship, shaping the world’s political stage from the war to the decades leading up to and into the new century. Roosevelt and Stalin tells of the first face-to-face meetings of the two leaders over four days in December 1943 at Tehran, in which the Allies focused on the next phases of the war against the Axis Powers in Europe and Asia; of Stalin’s agreement to launch another major offensive on the Eastern Front; and of his agreement to declare war against Japan following the Allied victory over Germany. Butler writes of the weeklong meeting at Yalta in February of 1945, two months before Roosevelt’s death, where the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany was agreed on and postwar Europe was reorganized, and where Stalin agreed to participate in Roosevelt’s vision of the United Nations. The book makes clear that Roosevelt worked hard to win Stalin over, pursuing the Russian leader, always holding out the promise that Roosevelt’s own ideas were the best bet for the future peace and security of Russia; however, Stalin was not at all sure that Roosevelt’s concept of a world organization, even with police powers, would be enough to keep Germany from starting a third world war, but we see how Stalin’s view of Roosevelt evolved, how he began to see FDR as the key to a peaceful world. Butler’s book is the first to show how FDR pushed Stalin to reinstate religion in the Soviet Union, which he did in 1943; how J. Edgar Hoover derailed the U.S.-planned establishment of an OSS intelligence mission in Moscow and a Soviet counterpart in America before the 1944 election; and that Roosevelt had wanted to involve Stalin in the testing of the atomic bomb at Alamogardo, New Mexico. We see how Roosevelt’s death deeply affected Stalin. Averell Harriman, American ambassador to the Soviet Union, reported that the Russian premier was “more disturbed than I had ever seen him,” and said to Harriman, “President Roosevelt has died but his cause must live on. We shall support President Truman with all our forces and all our will.” And the author explores how Churchill’s—and Truman’s—mutual mistrust and provocation of Stalin resulted in the Cold War. A fascinating, revelatory portrait of this crucial, world-changing partnership. From the Hardcover edition.