Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War

Robert Gellately. Knopf, $32.50 (464p) ISBN 978-0-307-26915-7
Florida State University’s Gellately (Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler) adds to his distinguished body of work on 20th-century totalitarianism with this analysis of Stalin’s conduct in international relations between 1939 and 1953. Utilizing recently released Russian documents, Gellately demolishes whatever traces remain of the revisionism that holds the U.S. primarily responsible for the Cold War. On the contrary, Gellately argues that Stalin took consistent advantage of his “overly accommodating” wartime allies in order to export Communist ideals and extend Soviet power after WWII, when it was far too late to keep Stalin from consolidating his hold on Eastern Europe and revitalizing his domestic dictatorship with “all its repressive trappings.” His desire to eliminate “the faintest trace of deviance” led to suppressing ethnic groups at home, establishing repressive satellite regimes in Eastern Europe, and bringing the West’s Communist parties into line with a rigid ideology. The overreach prompted Western Europe and America to rally against Stalin’s influence, but it was not until his death that the “iron will and revolutionary militancy” driving the system finally subsided. Even then, it took another four decades before Stalin’s eroding empire finally collapsed. Interweaving scholarship and the testimonies of those who suffered under Stalin’s rule, Gellately’s history is political and personal. 8 pages of photos, 3 maps. (Mar. 5)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 03/05/2013
Show other formats
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-19-966804-5
Paperback - 477 pages - 978-0-307-38945-9
Open Ebook - 449 pages - 978-0-307-96235-5
Hardcover - 504 pages - 978-0-19-164487-0
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.