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Ep174 - Stephen Kotkin

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Mixed Mental Arts

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When Professor Stephen Kotkin set out to write a biography of Stalin, he faced a series of challenges. Perhaps first and foremost, people already thought they knew who Stalin was. The world’s view of Stalin has been shaped by opponents like Trotsky and the West. The result is that we interpret the atrocities of Stalin’s rule as the actions of a monster. The far more disturbing possibility laid out by Professor Kotkin is that far from being a cardboard cutout Hollywood valid, Stalin was a fully fleshed out human being…who truly believed in the cause of Communism.Professor Stephen Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs. His biography of Stalin will appear in three parts. The first part Stalin: Paradoxes of Power is available on Amazon now.

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