Chapter

Introduction

Sabine Dullin

in Men of Influence

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780748622191
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622191.003.0001
Introduction

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The political history of the Soviet Union has for a long time been disembodied because of a lack of archive material, apart from the omnipresent figures of Stalin and his rival Leon Trotsky. Behind them, there existed a shadowy bureaucracy that was nothing more than a generalised and reified concept. The political system that Stalin created in the 1930s has partly remained an enigma. Were they fanatics, believers, lucid individuals who were prisoners of the system, or opportunist apparatchiks, who were either cynical or manipulated? In moving from the general to the particular, from outside the country to within, in examining the paradoxes of one man, Maxim Litvinov, and a group of senior civil servants, the diplomatic corps, this book seeks to unravel the human contradictions within a largely inhuman system.

Keywords: Bolshevik Russia; Stalin; Leon Trotsky; Maxim Litvinov; human contradictions

Chapter.  3813 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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