Ot have functioned in the way that he didIt s a set f mini biographies The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta: California's Gold Rush Bandit or perhaps pathologies is a better expressionf Stalin himself and the successive heads Limey Gumshoe of state security appointed after the Bolshevik coup in late 1917 They are there in allf their fanaticism and depravity Imagine if you will some kind Maritime Academy Graduate: Memoir Of A Third Mate of reverse Darwinian progression with successive stagesf moral sometimes physical degeneration Imagine also a progress in inhumanity and cruelty that is a perfect echo f the progress and inhumanity f communism at large Now picture the men picture Felix Dzerzhinsky the founder Trouble Looking for a Place to Happen of Cheka the first in a long linef sinister acronyms and then those who came after Viacheslav Menzhinsky Genrik Yagoda Nikolai Yezhov and Lavrenti Beria These are the principal players though the book also features some Dressed for Thrills: 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade of those spawned in their shadows even deeper levelsf ugly depravity It s also a biography Harcourt School Publishers Collections of the institutions themselves and their evolution from Cheka to GPU to OGPU to NKVD to MGB to the FSBf today These awful acronyms both display and hide so much They are the cords in a binding wrapped ever closer around the body From Paella to Porridge: A Farewell to Mallorca and a Scottish Adventure of Russia tighter and tighter as freedom was sueezed to death The awfulness was there right from the beginning in the system created by Lenin Stalin simply made it even worse with the aidf his various hangmenI knew about some On Toby's Terms of the men featured in this book thanthers uite a lot about Dzerzhinsky who if he had survived would almost certainly have gone the same way as Yagoda and Yezhov men who supped too close to the devil and nothing at all about Menzhinsky I thought f Yezhov who presided ver the hysteria Max Lerner: Pilgrim in the Promised Land of 1937 and 1938 which we now know as the Great Terror as the individual with most bloodn his hands but the weight is heaviest n Menzhinsky head f the OGPU at the time Indiscretion of forced collectivisation and a state induced famine that lead to the deathf millions There is genocide here ethnic cleansing before the world had ever heard Indiscretion of ethnic cleansing The urban terror the Yezhovchinaf 1937 to 1938 was bad but the rural terror f 1930 to 1933 was even worse Rayfield tells his story well scholarly but with a strong seasoning f passion though I do have serious reservations Soul Dust over somef his dubious judgements In Murdering the Old Guard section six The Dyfed Enigma: Unidentified Flying Objects in West Wales of the book he says that Stalin was no a communist than a Borgia pope was a Catholic That s a ratherdd contention because the Borgia pope I assume he is thinking 6S: The 6S Review, Issue 2 of Alexander VI was a Catholic just as Stalin was a communist The difference is thene was an aberration Blackbird of a systemf belief and the Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland other its most refined expression More seriously I think his analysisf Stalin s relations with Hitler both weak and seriously inaccurate at points showing that his grasp Surly Bonds of the twists in Soviet foreign and ideological policy is not uite as strong as it should be The conclusion though is superb As he says it is a paradox that Russia s two greatest novelists Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in all their work insisted thatnly by full confession could the crimes Sex, Lies, and Videotape of the past be absolved and life become endurable again yet today s Russian state refuses to abjure Stalin and his henchmen Hardly surprising when that same state is run by a man who is by career and choice as the author puts it a successor to Yagoda and Beria a state where the FSB has taken in alliance with bandits and extortioners the commanding heightsf the country s government and economic riches and goes The Sanford Guide to Hepatitis Therapy 2016-2017 on lying to and when expedient murdering it s citizens How much worse the situation seems to have become since I bought this book how much Russia moves in an ever downward spiral crushed under the weightf its unreuited history Until the story is told in full and until the world community insist tat the legacy Syzygy: Reflections on the Monastery of the Seven Rays of Stalin is ful. ’s ruthless consolidationf power But brutal as it was the Cheka under Dzerzhinsky was amateurish compared to the well iled killing machines that succeeded it Genrikh Iagoda’s OGPU specialized in political assassination propaganda and the manipulation f foreign intellectuals Later the NKVD recruited a new generation Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World's Oldest Profession of torturers Starting in 1938 terror mastermind Lavrenti Beria brought violent repression to a new heightf 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.
Leopold von Ranke The Paper Wife 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 touchf bjectivity Hence the missing starThat said this is an utstanding book readable intense clearly authoritative Rayfield is fluent in Russian and Georgian and appears to have a full grasp We, the People: Of Earth Elders of primary sourcesThe book is structured as a largely chronological account firstf Stalin and then Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition of the various and successive headsf the OGPUNKVDetc This gives Rayfield a chance to proceed historically while at the same time presents mini biographies مترو of ALL the principal actors from Lenin to Khruschiev There is thus a great dealn Dzierzynski Rayfield uses unconvential spellings Menzhinsky Orjonikidze Iagoda Ezhov and Beria n the Collectivization and the famines n the great purges the show trials the Great Terror and so forth putting all into clear focus He also covers all the The Windy Season other figures in some depth from Lenin and Krupskaia to Trotsky Zinoviev Kamenev Molotov the murdersf men like Babel and Mandalstam Katyn and much much elseAnd his portrait Oldies but Goodies of Stalin is to say the least both balanced and utterly convincing and chillingThene real surprise is his account A Month of Sundays of the radical and rapid thaw that Beriaversaw in the 100 days after Stalin s death For Rayfield Beria who was undoubtedly blood thirsty and lecherous found a germ Evangeline, a Master For Tonight Companion Novel of humanity and uickly moved to implement it He was then murdered by Khruschiev and Molotov and thethers because he was moving to liberalize too uickly I don t know if this interpretation found at the end Beneath the Jolly Roger of the book will withstand scrutiny On thether hand he does allow that Khruschiev also eventually found a bit Merzbook: The Pleasuredome of Noise of humanity within himself Putin is then placed right in the grand traditionf ther NKVD luminaries minus the alleged and late blooming humanity f BeriaI have tended to find long books Pig on Stalin and his regime a bit dull perhaps because they are such drab and unfeeling creatures but thisne under 500 pages serves as an excellent account and an excellent introductory account Scipio Rising (Scipio Africanus of the entire period45 stars and highly recommended Very interesting historical read very slow at times but leaves you in no doubt about the monster this man was and the yes men around him This was an excellent window into Russian history It also made an indelible memoryf 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 f these cycles unfolded it was shocking to watch a man s rise his fall and ultimately his destruction At the end f his Rim of the Pit (Rogan Kincaid, 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 passff the scene so they could take power they also feared being held responsible if he somehow r I bought Donald Rayfield s Stalin and his Hangmen six They Also Serve or seven years while I was studying modern Russian history in sixth form at school I never read it though because it was sueezedut by another book published at about the same time Stalin the Court Conversations From The Neighborhood Ice Cream Shop: 8 Keys To Rediscovering Lost Dreams And Finding Your Life's Calling of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore My present fascination with the writingf Vasily Grossman persuaded me to turn to the long neglected Raysfield for some additional background information No Time for Sergeants on the naturef the Soviet state and the terror apparatus it spawned I m rather glad I did because this is a good book though not a great ne a reasonably through treatment f the people and the institutions without whom Stalin could 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 f Stalin’s dictatorship were the result f a tight network f trusted henchmen and women spies psychopaths and thugs At the top f this pyramid Large Catechism of Martin Luther of terror sat five indispensable hangmen who presidedver the various incarnations Junior Jolt of Stalin’s secret police Now in his harrowing new book Donald Rayfield probes the lives the minds the twisted careers and the unpunished crimesf Stalin’s loyal assassinsFounded by Feliks Dzerzhinsky the Cheka–the Extraordinary Commission–came to life in the first years Ceux de la posie vcue of the Russian Revolution Spreading fear in a timef chaos the Cheka proved a perfect instrument for Stalin.
Ly accounted for and expiated Russia will remain spiritually sick haunted by the ghosts f Stalin and his hangmen and worse by nightmares f their resurrection A revolting account f Stalin s rule than Montefiore s this book chronicles the murderous career f the Cheka and its many succeeding bodies as well as its many successful hangmen Stalin murdered millions Troublemaker:: One Man's Crusade Against China's Cruelty of hiswn countrymen including his tireless: own allies and family but this book makes clear that inrder to be successful evil doesn t just need the good to do nothing but evil also reuires many busy hands to do its work Stalin cultivated such hands from the almost tragic Genrikh Yagoda to the impish brute Yezhov all the way to the foul Lavrenti Beria who ironically enough seems as though he would have been a moderate ruler Teach Them Spanish!, Grade 1 of the Soviet Union than the succeeding Krushchev as Beria planned to hand East Germanyver to create an independent democratric Deutschland unfortunately for Beria he was hated and feared by Stalin s Toque de Veludo other successors and he was the lastf the Stalin era Russia s victims before deStalinisationA gruesome book if nly for the details f the flagrant murder committed by the hangmen in the name Kaleidoscope of Stalin whose inner circle could make Hitler s henchmen look tame and ineffective I think the title says it all really Good breakdownf Stalin and the various leaders The Four Racketeers of the GPU OGPU NKVD etc and how the revolutionary and idealistic spirit was first broken and then totally eradicated Reminds you what people are capablef Rayfield writes a very personal account f Stalin and those close to him who were primarily responsible for the mass killings that ccurred during the early Soviet Union Felix Dzerzhinsky Vyacheslav Menzhinsky Genrikh Yagoda Nikolai Yezhov and Lavrentiy Beria Going through the personal lives Phantoms Monsters: Mysterious Encounters of eachf them and how it factored into their Smithereens overall choices to engage in mass murder it proves a very gripping account Written not as a serious academic tome but in the stylef popular history Rayfield still keeps it serious and to a high standard Though written chronologically it does move back and forth as new characters are introduced going back to examine their lives which further breaks up the book and makes it easy to read in short periods If The Book of Not Knowing: Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness one is interested in a intimate look at somef the most heinous figures in history this is a great source and provides a lot Dark Diversions of information This a well written and well researched book basedn the most recently pened Soviet archives that reveals in great detail not nly what a monstrous regime Stalin s was but also how much its existance played into the rise Yamashita's Ghost: War Crimes, Macarthur's Justice, and Command Accountability of Fascism and Nazism in Europe Rayfield s careful research focusesn 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 Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds of Dzerzhinsky Yezhov Yagoda and Beria monsters in theirwn rights to assist him Well done book about a difficult topic The author s point is that the biggest madmen f the 20th century could not and did not do all their evil alone and the story f their henchmen needs to be told Rayfield does a commendable job f pointing ut how easily we were swayed by the British and American left into thinking Lord of The Heart: Regency Romance of Stalin as a benignccasionally misguided idealist and how it was important for us to do so to be able to gird urselves for the fight against fascism At times the book gets weighed down by its wn story the specific horror and arbitrary nature f Stalinist terror is in a class by itself in uality and uantity But the portraits f Beria Eshkov and the rest are deep and insightfulI wish the libraries and bookstores in the US would carry Rayfield s newest book Scream on the historyf Georgia I know it would take shelf space away from the Oprah book club. Ht the careers personalities relationships and “accomplishments” Kumiko and the Dragon of Stalin’s key henchmen and their most prominent victims Rayfield creates a chilling dramaf the intersection Probabilities on the Heisenberg Group: Limit Theorems and Brownian Motion 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 methodsf the hangmen maintained their grip into the second half The Purpose of Creation of the twentieth century Indeed Rayfield argues the traditionf terror far from disappearing has emerged with renewed vitality under Vladimir Putin Written with grace passion and a dazzling command f the intricacies f Soviet politics and society Stalin and the Hangmen is a devastating indictment f the individuals and ideology that kept Stalin in power.