Stalin and the Kirov Murder

Robert Conquest, Author
Robert Conquest, Author Oxford University Press, USA $16.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-19-505579-5
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Most Western historians believe that Joseph Stalin masterminded the 1934 assassination of Sergei Kirov, a hard-line Bolshevik whom the Soviet dictator may have seen as a rival. Conquest ( Harvest of Sorrow ) builds on the research of Roy Medvedev and others in this close scrutiny of the available evidence. Making liberal use of underground samizdat accounts and defector sources, he finds Stalin's complicity in the murder ``almost undeniable.'' This short, well-documented book reads like a taut police procedural. It builds with chilling illogic, documenting how Stalin systematically used the murder as a pretext to unleash state terror against Party and general populace alike. Thousands of people were falsely accused of participating in a conspiracy that supposedly centered on Kirov's slaying. Mass arrests, deportations, torture and murder followed. (Nov.)
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