The Unknown Stalin

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Josef Stalin remains one of the greatest enigmas of modern history. Unflinching, impenetrable, inhuman in his cruelty, bathed in misery himself, he represents to many a very paradigm of evil - perhaps, in his icy rationalism, even more so than Hitler himself. More than a hundred biographies of Stalin have been written since his death in 1953, but this study looks at the torrent of new material unleashed with the opening of the secret Soviet archives when the Union collapsed. The truths extracted from these long-secret archives provide a radically fresh insight into the life and career of one of the major figures of the 20th century.

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The Unknown Stalin

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The prolific brothers Medvedev, Soviet dissident historians now better known outside of Russia, use the phrase the unknown Stalin to further their own interpretations of major events that took place ... Read full review


Stalins Secret Heir
Hidden or Destroyed? Facts
Before and After
Stalin and the Atomic Bomb
Stalin and the Hydrogen Bomb
Stalin and the Atomic Gulag
Stalin and Lysenko
The Far Eastern Front in the Second
The Murder of Bukharin
Stalins Mother

An Episode from the History of Soviet

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About the author (2003)

Zhores Aleksandrovich Medvedev was born in Tbilisi, in Soviet Georgia on November 14, 1925. He received a bachelor's degree from the Timiriasev Academy of Agricultural Sciences, a master's degree from the Institute of Plant Physiology at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and a doctorate in biochemistry from Timiriasev Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1954. He worked at Timiriasev from 1954 until 1963 and with the Academy of Medical Sciences at Obninsk from 1963 until his dismissal in 1969 because he refused to limit his writings to scientific subjects. Medvedev played a role in discrediting the doctrines of Trofim D. Lysenko, gave the world accounts of the Soviet practice of committing political dissenters to mental institutions, campaigned for greater freedoms for Soviet scientists and writers to study and travel abroad, and exposed a 1957 nuclear disaster in the Urals. On May 29, 1970, he was arrested at his home and taken by doctors to a mental hospital. He was pronounced acutely ill and confined in a locked ward. He was released 19 days later because of written protests from both in the Soviet Union and abroad. In 1973, Medvedev was allowed to go to London to take a one-year job at the National Institute for Medical Research. While there, his Soviet citizenship was revoked. In England, he worked at the Department of Genetics of the National Institute for Medical Research. His Soviet citizenship was reinstated in 1990. He wrote numerous books including Protein Biosynthesis and Problems of Heredity, Development and Aging; Molecular-Genetic Mechanisms of Development; The Rise and Fall of T. D. Lysenko; A Question of Madness written with Roy Medvedev; Ten Years After One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; Nuclear Disaster in the Urals; Soviet Agriculture; and The Legacy of Chernobyl. He died of a heart attack on November 15, 2018 at the age of 93.

ROY MEDVEDEV is the historian whose monumental Let History Judge was the first major insider account by a prominent Soviet dissident. He lives in Moscow.

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