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Robert Service Biography Of Stalin

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Soviet cogitations: 2407
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 05 Feb 2012, 17:36
Has anyone read this book? What is your opinion? I have it but have never read it.
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Soviet cogitations: 2870
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Nov 2005, 17:55
Party Bureaucrat
Post 13 Feb 2012, 06:02
Never read it myself, but I have checked out his biographies on Lenin (and a little bit of his Trotsky bio as well), and suffice it to say, it will be terrible. Service's treatment of Lenin was atrocious, essentially devolving Lenin's life work into a a trivial matter of "politics of envy". I can only project that his treatment of Stalin will be worse, presenting his life from a preconceived notion of Stalin being a common thug, or something like that. I would read with much skepticism.
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"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
--Napoleon Bonaparte
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 14 Feb 2012, 07:35
I read some of Service's biography of Lenin, and I must say it was a real snoozer. So much so that I barely remember reading it.

As for a biography on Stalin...

I can vouch for Stalin Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Montefiore as I just finished it yesterday. Not only does it contained a rather balanced view of Stalin, it also contains numerous photos and interesting sources. When compared to Service's biography on Lenin, you get more of a human feel to it than facts and events.

Court of the Red Tsar also takes a peak into the lives of other members of the Communist party who were closest to Stalin. (Molotov, Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, Bulganin, and many others.)
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 19 Mar 2012, 22:53
Read it years ago. Was very dry, for the most part boring. Doesn't paint a very "human portrait" to it all so it isn't very interesting. In fact the only parts that were really entertaining was when it spoke about his younger days, quite briefly, and then when he died. That's when you saw the most "character," and interesting interactions. Other than that it mostly talked about his polices and I specifically remember him calling Stalinist supporters a "pathetic bunch" as well as saying Stalin could "care less" about the red army soldiers that perished in the GPW.

Simon Montefiore's Court of a Red Tsar is a very compelling read, and really delves into the personal life of Stalin (If that's what you're looking for) and I would recommend his 600 page bio over Service's 600 paged dry piece of work.
Партия всегда права.
Die Partei hat immer recht.
The Party is always right.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 20 Mar 2012, 00:30
The Sebag-Montefiore book was certainly a more entertaining read than the Robert Service book, but the Service book seemed like a more serious and academic work - less sensationalist I suppose. Service is considered a bit of an authority in the subject having written books on Lenin and Modern Russia as well. He's also written a pretty interesting overview of 20th Century Communism in his book Comrades!: a history of world communism

Sebag-Montefiore's Young Stalin is worth a look also.
Soviet cogitations: 124
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2012, 00:06
Unperson
Post 23 Mar 2012, 23:46
Objectively, other partisan authors describe Stalin's personality as that of any average person better than others, wicked or less wicked than others. He was not PERFECT. Who else was perfect. My golly, he was a seminarian, a man of God, a priest-to-be!! As I kept on saying, once you enter the fray where politicians cut each other's throats, one cannot help but be Macchiavellian. Politics is a dirty game!.
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Soviet cogitations: 564
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 24 Mar 2012, 22:16
I think it's hilarious that Stalin was going to be a priest before his revolutionary/political "career". He discovered Marxism while IN seminary school. However, I think he was only in the school because at the time that was the only way to receive any education, and his mother raised him all his life for the priesthood.
Партия всегда права.
Die Partei hat immer recht.
The Party is always right.
Soviet cogitations: 124
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2012, 00:06
Unperson
Post 25 Mar 2012, 12:38
He has one of the outstanding qualities to qualify as the typical communist-atheist. He formed a clique in the seminary which espouses atheism. But that does not render it conclusive on him. There are other non-atheists in the Philippine clergy who got scandalized for child abuse, pedophilia and pornography. They are pro-capitalists.

I was also a seminarian, a Jesuit priest-to-be. But I have my own agenda. I am a communist to prevent an evil communist to head the Communist Party of the Philippines and commit genocide on innocent Filipinos like Pol Pot. The Digos massacre is enough proof that the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines is hell-bent on committing crimes like genocide and massacre. I became a communist leader to stall if not to stop them.
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Soviet cogitations: 564
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 25 Mar 2012, 13:02
AlmaAta wrote:
He has one of the outstanding qualities to qualify as the typical communist-atheist. He formed a clique in the seminary which espouses atheism. But that does not render it conclusive on him. There are other non-atheists in the Philippine clergy who got scandalized for child abuse, pedophilia and pornography. They are pro-capitalists.

I was also a seminarian, a Jesuit priest-to-be. But I have my own agenda. I am a communist to prevent an evil communist to head the Communist Party of the Philippines and commit genocide on innocent Filipinos like Pol Pot. The Digos massacre is enough proof that the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines is hell-bent on committing crimes like genocide and massacre. I became a communist leader to stall if not to stop them.


Right. You're a true communist. The people you're trying to stop aren't, and in no way was Pol Pot really a communist. I suppose he was since he considered himself one, but he was an "evil communist" as you would say. To me, that's not really a communist at all. I have yet to even see one Pol Pot supporter on here, I don't understand how there ever could be a communist that truly supports Pol Pot. I just don't even think that's possible.
Партия всегда права.
Die Partei hat immer recht.
The Party is always right.
Soviet cogitations: 124
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2012, 00:06
Unperson
Post 25 Mar 2012, 14:58
I have been often accused by the NPAs as an agent of the police state with no agenda but to destroy the communist movement. I am just being objective in my assessment or analysis. Often accused to of having been flexible and resilent in favour of capitalism, I found at that communists with evil intentions to either liquidate the Party or stop me in my agenda to prevent massacre and genocide were the most vehement in condoning the Digos massacre. I am a convinced communist unlike those who 'cough' cough' accusing me of Right wing deviation which is tantamount to provocation, libel for presuming that I am a fascist by cough cough, etc..I am not cough cough or Right wing. I am a communist. These 'harms' who hiccup should go to jail for accusing me of being a Right winger.
Soviet cogitations: 124
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2012, 00:06
Unperson
Post 31 Mar 2012, 19:34
Man in grey, I am not the only one who is. We all are. Good communists! with the likes of those who were assassinated by Joma Sison just because they were practicing democratic centralism and offering constructive criticisms. Even God is fallible by way of mistakenly creating Satan. Who is not!! Joma Sison thinks he is infallible. A self-righteous communist terrorist.
Soviet cogitations: 2
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Apr 2012, 01:46
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 14 Apr 2012, 01:50
Soviet192491 wrote:
I can vouch for Stalin Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Montefiore as I just finished it yesterday. Not only does it contained a rather balanced view of Stalin, it also contains numerous photos and interesting sources. When compared to Service's biography on Lenin, you get more of a human feel to it than facts and events.


Court of the Red Tsar is a very interesting and informative book, but be warned - it contains a picture of Molotov playing tennis topless. *shudder*
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