On December 1, 1934, a lone gunman shot and killed Sergei Kirov, Secretary of the Central and Leningrad Party Organization, member of the Moscow Politburo, and once considered Joseph Stalin's possible successor. As one of the most significant crimes of the century, the assassination not only sealed the fates of thousands--and, indirectly, millions--of people spuriously connected to the killer, but it eliminated the second most powerful man in Russian politics and gave Stalin free rein to dominate Soviet policy.
Written by the highly acclaimed author of The Harvest of Sorrow, Stalin and the Kirov Murder presents the first book-length examination of the case. Robert Conquest chronicles the details of the Kirov affair and all of its astonishing consequences. He tells us that now, fifty-five years after Kirov's murder, glasnost has prompted a new examination of this singular crime--one that will perhaps reveal the truth about the case for the first time. Based on all the available evidence, including official documents as well as the reports of numerous Russian defectors, Conquest has written a fascinating, at times chilling, account of the murder and its aftermath. He firmly establishes that Stalin not only sanctioned Kirov's assassination, but used it as a justification for the terror that culminated in 1937 and '38.
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From Publishers Weekly:
About the Author:
Robert Conquest, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of several books, including The Great Terror: A Reassessment.
Most Western historians believe that Joseph Stalin masterminded the 1934 assassination of Sergei Kirov, a hard-line Bolshevik whom the Soviet dictator may have seen as a rival. Conquest ( Harvest of Sorrow ) builds on the research of Roy Medvedev and others in this close scrutiny of the available evidence. Making liberal use of underground samizdat accounts and defector sources, he finds Stalin's complicity in the murder "almost undeniable." This short, well-documented book reads like a taut police procedural. It builds with chilling illogic, documenting how Stalin systematically used the murder as a pretext to unleash state terror against Party and general populace alike. Thousands of people were falsely accused of participating in a conspiracy that supposedly centered on Kirov's slaying. Mass arrests, deportations, torture and murder followed.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1989. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0091737737