The secret history of Stalin's crimes by Aleksandr Orlov
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New York : Random House, 1953. First edition. Hardcover. 366 pages ; 21 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Now—at last—a former Soviet diplomat and counter-intelligence chief is able to reveal for the first time the full, true inside story of one of the most notorious and fascinating characters in all history.
In this book you will discover the intimate details of Stalin's private life, learn how he liquidated his former comrades and his enemies and made himself absolute ruler of the Russian people.
Here, in dramatic detail, is the real record of the infamous Moscow trials — the mounting suspense of trumpedup preparations, gruesome interrogations in Lubianka Prison, assassinations carried out on orders of Stalin to give "substance" to fictitious charges, unbelievable treachery to friends and cruelty to their children—plus unique portraits of the condemned men.
Then the focus shifts. Stalin, having destroyed his political foes, turned his attention to exterminating the men who had helped him consolidate his power. In these pages are described the mass arrests and liquidation of the witnesses" to his inhuman crimes.
The summaries of the three trials and their aftermaths; the work of the Administration of Special Tasks which hunted down even those who were outside the borders of Russia; and the Red Army purges — all are bathed in a blood-red, nightmarish atmosphere of apparently endless executions.
But perhaps even more revelatory is the author's singular picture of private life inside the Kremlin today and his remarkable predictions concerning the new struggle for control of the U.S.S.R. Besides his behind-the-scenes account of Stalin's climb to absolute power, there are amazing disclosures about his personal habits and the violent and hitherto mysterious death of his wife.
Rounding out the story are close-ups of Vyshinsky, Molotov, Voroshilov, Pauker (Stalin's chief bodyguard for many years), Malenkov, ("He did not impress me overly much a mere party functionary . . . lacking the qualities one would look for in the leader of a state"), and many others.
This is the book on which future historians will base their accounts of a turning point in the modern world —the counterrevolution by which Stalin consolidated his power and prepared the way for World War Il and the Cold War that followed.