cover image Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations

Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations

Walter Laqueur. Scribner Book Company, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-684-19203-1

An invaluable synthesis of the new body of evidence, released under glasnost , of Stalin's atrocities, this masterful biographical study is one of the few essential books on the Soviet ruler. The latest revelations show that the purges and the terror raged in all the Soviet republics, not just in Moscow and Leningrad. New light is shed on Stalin's role in liquidating the Red Army high command and officer corps, and in engineering the murder of loyal party boss Sergei Kirov. As eminent historian Laquer demonstrates, many Russians now view Stalin as a failure on his own terms, a mass murderer who sidetracked communism. Yet illusions persist in the U.S.S.R.: Trotsky is assigned much of the blame for the show trials and bloodbath, and Gorbachev has spoken reticently of the ``many thousands'' murdered by Stalin, the exterminator of some 20 million innocent victims. (Oct.)