Stalin, Volume II by Stephen Kotkin audiobook

Stalin, Volume II: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941

By Stephen Kotkin
Read by Paul Hecht

Recorded Books Inc., Recorded Books, Inc.
49.74 Hours 1
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Pulitzer Prize-finalist Stephen Kotkin continues his definitive biography of Stalin, from collectivization and the Great Terror through to the coming of the conflict with Hitler's Germany that is the signal event of modern world history. When we left Stalin at the end of Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, it was 1928, and he had finally climbed the mountaintop and achieved dictatorial power of the Soviet empire. The vastest peasant economy in the world would be transformed into socialist modernity, whatever it took. What it took, or what Stalin believed it took, was the most relentless campaign of shock industrialization the world has ever seen. This is the story of the five year plans, the new factory towns, and the integration of an entire system of penal labor into the larger economy. With the Great Depression throwing global capital into crisis, the Soviet Union's New Man looked like nothing so much as the man of the future. As the shadows of the 30's deepen, Stalin's drive to militarize Soviet society takes on increasing urgency, and the ambition of Nazi Germany becomes the predominant geopolitical reality he faces when Hitler claims that communism is a global "Judeo-Bolshevik" conspiracy to bring the Slavic race to power. But just because they're out to get you doesn't mean you're not paranoid. Stalin's paranoia is increasingly one of the most horrible facts of life for his entire country. Stalin's obsessions drive him to violently purge almost a million people, including military leadership, diplomatic corps and intelligence apparatus, to say nothing of a generation of artistic talent. And then came the pact that shocked the world, and demoralized leftists everywhere: Stalin's pact with Hitler in 1939, the carve-up of Poland, and Stalin's utter inability to see Hitler's build-up to the invasion of the USSR. Yet for all that, in just 12 years of total power, Stalin has taken this country from a peasant economy to a formidable modern war machine that rivaled anything else in the world. When the invasion came, Stalin wasn't ready, but his country would prove to be prepared. That is a dimension of the Stalin story that has never adequately been reckoned with before, and it looms large here. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler: 1929-1941 is, like its predecessor, nothing less than a history of the world from Stalin's desk. It is also, like its predecessor, a landmark achievement in the annals of its field, and in the biographer's art.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

A 2017 Sunday Times (London) Best Book of the Year in History

One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017 

Pulitzer Prize-finalist Stephen Kotkin continues his definitive biography of Stalin, from collectivization and the Great Terror through to the coming of the conflict with Hitler's Germany that is the signal event of modern world history. When we left Stalin at the end of Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, it was 1928, and he had finally climbed the mountaintop and achieved dictatorial power of the Soviet empire. The vastest peasant economy in the world would be transformed into socialist modernity, whatever it took. What it took, or what Stalin believed it took, was the most relentless campaign of shock industrialization the world has ever seen. This is the story of the five year plans, the new factory towns, and the integration of an entire system of penal labor into the larger economy. With the Great Depression throwing global capital into crisis, the Soviet Union's New Man looked like nothing so much as the man of the future. As the shadows of the 30's deepen, Stalin's drive to militarize Soviet society takes on increasing urgency, and the ambition of Nazi Germany becomes the predominant geopolitical reality he faces when Hitler claims that communism is a global "Judeo-Bolshevik" conspiracy to bring the Slavic race to power. But just because they're out to get you doesn't mean you're not paranoid. Stalin's paranoia is increasingly one of the most horrible facts of life for his entire country. Stalin's obsessions drive him to violently purge almost a million people, including military leadership, diplomatic corps and intelligence apparatus, to say nothing of a generation of artistic talent. And then came the pact that shocked the world, and demoralized leftists everywhere: Stalin's pact with Hitler in 1939, the carve-up of Poland, and Stalin's utter inability to see Hitler's build-up to the invasion of the USSR. Yet for all that, in just 12 years of total power, Stalin has taken this country from a peasant economy to a formidable modern war machine that rivaled anything else in the world. When the invasion came, Stalin wasn't ready, but his country would prove to be prepared. That is a dimension of the Stalin story that has never adequately been reckoned with before, and it looms large here. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler: 1929-1941 is, like its predecessor, nothing less than a history of the world from Stalin's desk. It is also, like its predecessor, a landmark achievement in the annals of its field, and in the biographer's art.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The book makes it mark through its theoretical sophistication, relentless argumentation, and sheer Stakhoanovite immensity…Kotkin also attempts to answer the chief philosophical question about Stalin: whether the monstrous regime he created was a function of his personality or of something inherent in Bolshevism.” New Yorker
“A masterpiece, surely one of the most remarkable books on 20th-century history to have been published in many years. It is not only the depth of research that takes the breath away; it is the scale and range of Kotkin’s framing of his subject and the acuity of his observations.” Guardian (London)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Stephen Kotkin

Author Bio: Stephen Kotkin

Stephen Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1989. He is also a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He directs Princeton’s Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies program. He has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times, among other publications, and is the author of several books, including Uncivil Society, Armageddon Averted, and Magnetic Mountain.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 49.74
Audience: Adult
Language: English