Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945-1953

Paperback | October 31, 2005

byYoram Gorlizki, Oleg Khlevniuk

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Following his country's victory over Nazi Germany, Joseph Stalin was widely hailed as a great wartime leader and international statesman. Unchallenged on the domestic front, he headed one of the most powerful nations in the world. Yet, in the period from the end of World War II until hisdeath, Stalin remained a man possessed by his fears. In order to reinforce his despotic rule in the face of old age and uncertain health, he habitually humiliated and terrorized members of his inner circle. He had their telephones bugged and even forced his deputy, Viacheslav Molotov, to betray hisown spouse as a token of his allegiance. Often dismissed as paranoid and irrational, Stalin's behavior followed a clear political logic, contend Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk. Stalin's consistent and overriding goal after the war was to consolidate the Soviet Union's status as a superpower and, in the face of growing decrepitude, tomaintain his own hold as leader of that power. To that end, he fashioned a system of leadership that was at once patrimonial-repressive and quite modern. While maintaining informal relations based on personal loyalty at the apex of the system, in the postwar period Stalin also vested authority incommittees, elevated younger specialists, and initiated key institutional innovations with lasting consequences. Close scrutiny of Stalin's relationships with his most intimate colleagues also shows how, in the teeth of periodic persecution, Stalin's deputies cultivated informal norms and mutual understandings which provided the foundations for collective rule after his death. Based on newly released archivaldocuments, including personal correspondence, drafts of Central Committee paperwork, new memoirs, and interviews with former functionaries and the families of Politburo members, this book will appeal to all those interested in Soviet history, political history, and the lives of dictators.

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Following his country's victory over Nazi Germany, Joseph Stalin was widely hailed as a great wartime leader and international statesman. Unchallenged on the domestic front, he headed one of the most powerful nations in the world. Yet, in the period from the end of World War II until hisdeath, Stalin remained a man possessed by his fea...

Yoram Gorlizki teaches Russian politics and history at the University of Manchester, where he is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government, and Oleg Khlevniuk is a Senior Research Fellow at the State Archive of the Russian Federation.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.59 inPublished:October 31, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195304209

ISBN - 13:9780195304206

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"Using previously unavailable archives, Gorlizki and Khlevniuk have reconstructed the inner workings of the top Soviet leadership in the declining years of Stalin's brutal reign. They take us into the inner sanctum of the Kremlin and weave for us an intricate tapestry of cold calculation andintrigue, jockeying for influence and caprice, with Stalin squarely in the center and in control. Rather than simply the tale of degenerating dictatorship, the years after World War II were marked by consolidation of the institutions and habits of authoritarianism."--Ronald Grigor Suny, Universityof Chicago