The present book is an exhaustive critique of Stephen Kotkin, Stalin. Waiting For Hitler, 1929 – 1941 (New York: Penguin, 2017). This is the second volume of what Kotkin, a professor of history at Princeton University and a Fellow at the Hoover Institution, intends to be a three-volume work and the definitive biography of Joseph Stalin.
This book is written primarily for those who will never read Kotkin’s book. It has to be – because very, very few people will in fact read this humongous tome (= a large book) – humongous in size, and also in dishonesty.
The reader will not learn the history of the Soviet Union during 1929 – 1941 from Kotkin’s book. Kotkin’s book is completely unreliable. It is filled with false statements and unsupported assumptions.
It is dedicated to convincing the reader that Joseph Stalin was a monster, a mass murderer and all-round evil person, and that the Soviet Union during his day was little short of a hell on earth. It is also devoted to trashing the idea of communism itself, partly through associating the communist movement with the monster Stalin, partly by smuggling in the notion that market capitalism is a far better form of political and social organization.
Kotkin has not attempted to write an accurate, objective account of Stalin’s life during these years. Instead, he cherry-picks phony evidence to try to “prove” his very negative views about Stalin, the Soviet Union, and the communist movement.
Few readers will read this huge book: 909 pages of text, more than 158 pages of triple-columned footnotes in tiny type with 5295 footnotes, and 47 pages of bibliography, also triple-columned in tiny type.
Of the very few readers who make it through the text only a tiny fraction will read more than a small handful of the footnotes. And of those, how many will actually check the references in the footnotes in order to see whether they do, in fact, provide evidence for the statements Kotkin makes in the text alleging crimes by Stalin?
If you think “No one will,” you are almost correct. For this is what I have done.
The book in your hands (or on your screen) contains the results of my careful check-up of Kotkin’s claims of criminal and/or atrocious acts by Stalin and the Soviet leadership.
I have written this book so that you don’t have to read Kotkin’s. You can find out what Kotkin has to say about Stalin and the events of Soviet history from 1928 to 1941, and how Kotkin falsifies the history of this period. And you can do all this in fewer than 400 pages.
The chapters are organized according to the major historical events of the Soviet 1930s, as Kotkin deals with them. You can select the topics that interest you most. When you read a chapter in my book, you will learn what Kotkin has to say about the events in question; how he falsifies them; and get a brief account of what the real state of affairs is, as demonstrated by the best evidence available today.
You should read this book instead of reading Kotkin’s book. If you haven’t bought his book, don’t bother! If you have bought it, then you can consult it if you should ever doubt my analysis of this or that incident. Then you can use it for a doorstop.
This book is not a “defense of Joseph Stalin.” It is an attempt to discover the truth, no matter what it is. You should read this book if you want to know how Soviet history of the Stalin period is distorted, falsified, mangled, by mainstream historiography. You can learn about the Anti-Stalin Paradigm – the false and dishonest model of Soviet history to which mainstream historians are expected to conform and to which almost all of them do in fact conform.
You can use this book as a kind of reference work. What does the best available evidence show about these events? How is the mainstream, “official,” history wrong about them?
If you have suspected that this or that event of the Soviet 1930s may have been distorted by mainstream historians, you can read up on it here.
If you have trusted the mainstream historical portrait of Stalin and of the Soviet 1930s, you are in for a big shock!
I’ve written this book for those who will read Kotkin’s book and for those who won’t manage to get through it.
But I have written it especially for those who never intend to even try to read Kotkin’s monstrosity.
If you have not yet decided to read Kotkin’s book, take my advice: Don’t waste your time! Read this book instead. You’ll not just learn more – what you learn will be true. Read Kotkin, and what you learn will be all wrong and you will have to unlearn it – by reading this book.