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.
Erik van Ree is a lecturer at the Institute for East European Studies of the University of Amsterdam. He has published widely on the history of the USSR and on world communism, including books on Stalin's Korean Policy, and on the Soviet Politburo.
'Erudite, meticulously researched and full of interesting detail. ...Get hold of a copy.' - Mark Sandle, De Montfort University
'To many a contemporary mind, a discussion of the political thought of Stalin may seem one of the last subjects to take into serious consideration. ... If the book by Erik van Ree teaches us one thing, it is that there is indeed ample reason to take Stalin seriously as a thinker. And this is not so much because of his origniality as an 'innovator' of Marxism but, on the contrary, as its faithful developer.' -