Debates on Stalinism

By Mark Edele

Debates on Stalinism


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9431-0
  • Pages: 312
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: June 2020
  • BIC Category: USSR, Soviet Union, Russia, History, HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union, HISTORY / Historiography, Political Structures: Totalitarianism & Dictatorship, Former Soviet Union, Ussr (Europe), Humanities / Historiography
  • Series: Issues in Historiography


Debates on Stalinism introduces major debates about Stalinism during and after the Cold War. Did 'Stalinism' form a system in its own right or was it a mere stage in the overall development of Soviet society? Was it an aberration from Leninism or the logical conclusion of Marxism? Was its violence the revenge of the Russian past or the result of a revolutionary mindset? Was Stalinism the work of a madman or the product of social forces beyond his control? The book shows the complexities of historiographical debates, where evidence, politics, personality, and biography are strongly entangled. Debates on Stalinism allows readers to better understand not only the history of history writing, but also contemporary controversies and conflicts in the successor states of the Soviet Union, in particular Russia and Ukraine.


'.explains - in clear and lucid terms - why Stalinism is important, and why it is still important today.'
Professor Matthew Stibbe, Sheffield Hallam University


Debates on Stalinism: an introduction
Part 1: Biography and historiography
1. A 'withering crossfire': debating Stalinism in the Cold War
2. Marxism-Lewinism and the origins of Stalinism
3. The Russian origins of totalitarianism: empire and nation
4. Unrevisionist revisionism
Part II: Cold War debates
5. Stalinism with Stalin left in
6. Totalitarianism and revisionism
7. After revisionism
Part III: contemporary debates
8. Fighting Russia's history wars
9. Holodomor: a transnational history
New perspectives on Stalinism? A conclusion
Further reading


Mark Edele is Hansen Professor in History at the University of Melbourne

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