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Stalin S Russia 2nd Edition (Reading History series) [Paperback]

Chris Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £21.99
Price: £19.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 May 1999 Reading History series
The ebb and flow of debate about Stalin's Russia is brilliantly captured in Chris Ward's account, which not only conceptualises the field in a clear and helpful way, offering a synthesis of the vast secondary literature in the area, but also provides the author's own evaluation of the key issues at stake. The first edition of the book was deservedly popular with readers wanting a succinct introduction to the subject or needing to 'get up to speed' in areas of the subject unfamiliar to them.



This new edition retains all the virtues of the first but is able to take more account of the new opportunities afforded to historians - both Russian and Western - by the collapse of Communism and the greater availability to researchers of archival sources. This is a valuable revision of a now standard work, acknowledging the various problems and perspectives in interpretation that have emerged since the end of the Soviet Union and including for the first time a chapter on Stalin's foreign policy.

Frequently Bought Together

Stalin S Russia 2nd Edition (Reading History series) + Russia under Tsarism and Communism 1881-1953 Second Edition (SHP Advanced History Core Texts) + Mastering Twentieth-Century Russian History (Palgrave Master Series)
Price For All Three: £55.76

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 2 edition (28 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340731516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340731512
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

..strongly recommended... [students] will undoubtedly profit from reading Ward's views on this controversial subject and the purpose of academic history. (Journal of European Studies)

..a fresh and unhackneyed approach to a broadly familiar period. (Slavonica)

...a fresh unhackneyed approach to a broadly familiar period. (Slavonica)

About the Author

Chris Ward, Lecturer in Slavonic Studies, University of Cambridge, UK

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the literature on Stalinism 21 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
Chris Ward provides a well structured, useful text book that should be welcome to teachers of modern Russian history. His book sets an example of historical writing that currently seems especially serviceable to the field of Stalinism studies. Ward neither presents nor analyzes entirely new data. Nor does he develop a truly novel interpretation of Stalinism. His study essentially constitutes a long review essay on the literature on Stalinism, and an extensive general introduction to the field. This determines his structuring of the book.
The chapters do not follow an exclusively chronological line, but refer to the issues of contention and various sub debates in Soviet studies. After an outline, in the introduction, of the changes in the source base of Stalinism studies in pre- and post glasnost Russia, the chapters discuss:
- various explanations of the rise of Stalin, 1917 29 (ch. 1);
- conflicting assessments of the industrialization campaign,1924 41 (ch. 2);
- contending accounts of the reasons for and results of the collectivization drive, 1927 41 (ch. 3);
- diverging views on the origins and nature of the purges, 1928 41 (ch. 4);
- different evaluations of the sources, successes and failures of Stalinist foreign policy, 1922 41 (ch. 5);
- opposing appraisals of the war period and late Stalinism, 1941 53 (ch. 6); and
- competing interpretations of the role of, and changes in, Soviet culture and society during Stalin's rule, 1928 53 (ch. 7).
The conclusion "History and Stalin's Russia" juxtaposes the consequences of different historiographical approaches for understanding the Stalinist period. It finally gives an outlook where future research into Stalinism may and should go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 21 April 2011
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book whilst completing my degree in history, as recommended by the lecturers for a module on Stalin, i must admit i found this book to be very insightful, compact and great quality. This book was also in great condition, it looked like new, inspite of being listed as 'nearly new some damage'

very happy with the purchase and i still read the book now, even a year after i have graduated.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the literature on Stalinism 5 Nov 2006
By Andreas Umland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Chris Ward provides a well structured, useful text book that should be welcome to teachers of modern Russian history. His book sets an example of historical writing that currently seems especially serviceable to the field of Stalinism studies. Ward neither presents nor analyzes entirely new data. Nor does he develop a truly novel interpretation of Stalinism. His study essentially constitutes a long review essay on the literature on Stalinism, and an extensive general introduction to the field. This determines his structuring of the book.

The chapters do not follow an exclusively chronological line, but refer to the issues of contention and various sub debates in Soviet studies. After an outline, in the introduction, of the changes in the source base of Stalinism studies in pre- and post glasnost Russia, the chapters discuss:

- various explanations of the rise of Stalin, 1917 29 (ch. 1);

- conflicting assessments of the industrialization campaign,1924 41 (ch. 2);

- contending accounts of the reasons for and results of the collectivization drive, 1927 41 (ch. 3);

- diverging views on the origins and nature of the purges, 1928 41 (ch. 4);

- different evaluations of the sources, successes and failures of Stalinist foreign policy, 1922 41 (ch. 5);

- opposing appraisals of the war period and late Stalinism, 1941 53 (ch. 6); and

- competing interpretations of the role of, and changes in, Soviet culture and society during Stalin's rule, 1928 53 (ch. 7).

The conclusion "History and Stalin's Russia" juxtaposes the consequences of different historiographical approaches for understanding the Stalinist period. It finally gives an outlook where future research into Stalinism may and should go.

The chapters are uniformly structured into sections called "Narrative," "Interpretations," "Evaluations" and "Suggestions for further reading". The first section links the crucial dates, events, names and numbers; the following two discuss diverging conceptualizations and explanations of the data. The section "Interpretations" reconstructs the respective debate in the - primarily academic English-language - literature. In "Evaluations," Ward criticizes the various approaches and presents his own - sometimes reconciling, sometimes partisan - solutions. In "Suggestion for further reading," Ward lists selected, important books and articles, and summarizes their content or locates them within the debates. The book is thus as much devoted to the historiography of Stalinism as to the phenomenon itself. It is a guide book to the literature, as much as a textbook, on Stalinism.
4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nearly Unreadable 25 Feb 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although the preface says that this book was designed for undergraduates, it is not. It was designed for Chris Ward. The author tends to bypass any explaination of who and what historical figures and organizations were. Just one example: What exactly the Checka was, although Ward mentions it, is never explained at all. The racing "narrative" jumps around from one factoid to another. There is no sense of continutity. I was baffled as to what Ward's point was at the end of the first chapter and found myself more confused about Stalinism than before.
Even more, Ward's use of an overwhelming amount of tangential footnotes is irritating at best and only serves to confuse the reader at worst. Each chapter is arbitrarily and very post-modernly divided into a "narrative" section, an "interpretations" section and an "explainations" section.
I wanted to send Ward off to a gulag after reading this.
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