THEODORE VON LAUE (Worcester, Mass., U.S.A.) STALIN REVIEWED 1 Recent writings on Stalin, their polemical tone, and the urgent need for a sound comparative approach to Soviet-American relations call for basic re- considerations of Stalin himself and of the contexts in which to view him. The sample used here for a broadened and more circumspect analysis is com- posed of George R. Urban's article, "Stalin Closely Observed: A Conversation with Boris Bazhanov," Survey, 25, No. 3 (Summer 1980); Anton Antonov- Ovseyenko, The Time of Stalin: Portrait of a Tyrannv (New York: Harper and Row, 1981); and Stephen F. Cohen, ed., An End to Silence: Uncensored Opinion in the Soviet Union from Roy l't1edvedev's Underground Political Diary (New York: W. W. Norton, 1981). Through this small but variegated bouquet we will explore the essence of Stalinism as well as the problems of inter-cultural political studies.l I The following pages thus attempt not only a reassessment of Stalin (as well as of his critics), but also an escape from the cognitive imperialism prevailing in American (and Western) studies of Soviet Russian history and politics. As we assess Stalin and his critics, we cross over a profound cognitive abyss. Rather than
The Soviet and Post Soviet Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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