Hyde, H. Montgomery. (Stalin.)
Title STALIN: THE HISTORY OF A DICTATOR.
Publisher Rupert Hart-Davis, London, (1971), first edition.
Seller ID 16474
679 pp, 8vo (8 11/16" H), hard cover in dust jacket. Map endpapers, b&w plates. ISBN 0246640537 "The son of a drunken and poverty-stricken Georgian cobbler, Stalin...was born in a wooden shack in a small town in Transcaucasia in 1879. When he died at his country villa outside Moscow in 1953, he was the absolute ruler of more than two hundred million Soviet subjects whom he had governed from his office in the Kremlin for upwards of a quarter of a century through the most brutal system of police terror. 'Like Peter the Great, Stalin fought barbarism with barbarism', said his henchman Nikita Khruschev, 'but he was a great man'. This book is largely an endorsement of that opinion. But it will also adjust the traditional view in many important respects. For instance, (the author) shows clearly that while working with the Bolshevik group led by Lenin, before being co-opted onto the party central committee in 1912, Stalin...was also an informer for the Tsarist secret police. He describes how (Stalin) used his position as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party to build up his pattern of dictatorial rule, and eliminate all his opponents, real or supposed, including Trotsky and virtually the whole of the Bolshevik Old Guard. He examines his role as Commander-in-Chief of Soviet forces during the War, and shows that though he constantly interfered with the conduct of operations, he was by no means the miltiary ignoramus portrayed by Kruschev... (Hyde ) traces in de tail the means by which Stalin was able to outwit both Churchill and Roosevelt at their various wartime conferences. Finally he describes how Stalin, by now a paranoiac, was prevented only by sudden illness and death from slaughtering all his remaining close colleagues in the Politburo. Using a mass of little-known Russian language sources as well as such important manuscript collections as the Tsarist secret police archives, t he Trotsky papers, and the confidential reports from the British Embassy in Moscow, (Hyde) has produced a biography which is not only readable, but likely to prove the definitive study of this most successful dictator of modern times." Previous owner's signature on half -title page, short light ink mark on verso of frontispiece - also tiny mark on title page, very small slub in paper on free front endpaper, large dog-ear crease on page 417, light wrinkling at top/bottom of spine, very light soiling to edges of textblock, light line rub down rear board, slight bump to three corners. Dust jacket is price clipped, has light edge wear, moderate edge wrinkling, a few tiny/small chips and tears, a few tiny dints on panels, line rub down rear panel and also a tiny dent, very light rubbing. VG-/G+