Exploring the historic rise of Egyptian civilization and its continued influence on the world today, Ancient Egypt in an Hour is an excellent companion to a mysterious and enthralling period of history.
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Hitler in an Hour is the concise biography of Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler. This is a concise history of this tumultuous period. South Africa is a nation that has been ravaged by oppression and racial inequality. South Africa: History in an Hour gives a lively account of the formation of modern South Africa, from the first contact with 17th-century European sailors, through the colonial era, the Boer Wars, apartheid, and the establishment of a tolerant democracy in the late 20th century. But, barely 1, days into his presidency, was he assassinated.
JFK in an Hour provides a compelling and comprehensive overview of this man credited with introducing an aspirational new approach to American politics. Learn about the Kennedy family, the cast that propelled JFK to success despite family tragedy. Jane Seymour died and Catherine Parr survived Henry.
The gunpowder plot is a famed tale of treachery that continues to fascinate and capture the imagination four hundred years on. The Gunpowder Plot in an Hour reveals the elaborate background to the infamous plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and James I, the ultimate act of treason. Black History, or African-American History, looks at the story and culture of black Americans from the seventeenth century to the present day. Encompassing everything from immigration to civil war, emancipation, slavery and migration, Black History in an Hour gives you a neat overview of this vast and fascinating subject.
This audio download is a superb introduction to the long and varied history of African Americans. Arguably no person in history had such a direct and negative impact on the lives of so many as Joseph Stalin. Under the Red Tsar terror knew no limits, it did not discriminate; no one was safe, no institution, no single town or village was immune. Yet, following his death in , Stalin was deeply mourned. He had "received the country with a wooden plough, and left it with a nuclear missile shield. So who was Joseph Stalin, what was his role during the Russian Revolution; how did he come to power, what made him such a destructive tyrant, and how did he impose his will on the Soviet Union for so long?
Know your stuff with History in an Hour I would totally recommend it. A powerful yet sad part of world history. Stalin and what he made of the USSR, impacted the entire world. It is important to know this sad part of history and this book covers it well in a short time. I've now listened to three of these books. They never disappoint in content and are further enhance by Mr Keeble's performance. This short book was wonderful. I knew a bit about Stalin, now I'm quite interested in learning so much more. That's the beauty of this series, it awakens your interest and forces you to go out and learn a bit more Highly recommend!
What made the experience of listening to Stalin: History in an Hour the most enjoyable? Good narration. Would you be willing to try another book from Rupert Colley? Why or why not?
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Depends on the subject. How does this one compare? If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be? Any additional comments? A decent short history. I get it. But it was so rushed, so glossed over key points In Britain, the shrewd and well-informed Soviet expert Edward Crankshaw left Observer readers in no doubt that something momentous was happening. Winston Churchill, nearing the end of his political career, saw a historic moment that needed to be seized, and wrote to Eisenhower to tell him so.
Dulles was categorically opposed to any face-to-face meetings with the Soviets, either public or private. Eisenhower himself wanted to speak over the heads of Soviet leaders to the Soviet people, who might be encouraged to rise up and overthrow tyranny. But that is not what happened. In a previous version, the man in the photograph with Dwight Eisenhower was misidentified.
He is Swiss president Max Petitpierre. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics History books. Joseph Stalin reviews.
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Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U. Stalin led his country through the post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the doctors' plot.
After Stalin's death in he was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev , who denounced his predecessor and initiated the de-Stalinisation of Soviet society. Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist—Leninist movement which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in , Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government has been widely condemned for overseeing mass repressions , ethnic cleansing , deportations , hundreds of thousands of executions, and famines which killed millions.
Stalin was born in the Georgian town of Gori ,  then part of the Russian Empire and home to a mix of Georgian, Armenian, Russian, and Jewish communities. Besarion was a shoemaker and owned his own workshop;  it was initially a financial success, but later fell into decline. In August , Stalin enrolled in the Spiritual Seminary in Tiflis , enabled by a scholarship that allowed him to study at a reduced rate. Stalin joined a forbidden book club at the school;  he was particularly influenced by Nikolay Chernyshevsky 's pro-revolutionary novel What Is To Be Done?
In October , Stalin began work as a meteorologist at a Tiflis observatory. That month, Stalin travelled to the port city of Batumi. In January , government troops massacred protesters in Saint Petersburg. Unrest soon spread across the Russian Empire in what came to be known as the Revolution of Stalin married Kato Svanidze in a church ceremony at Senaki in July His gang ambushed the armed convoy in Yerevan Square with gunfire and home-made bombs. Around 40 people were killed, but all of his gang escaped alive. In March , Stalin was arrested and interned in Bailov Prison in Baku  There, he led the imprisoned Bolsheviks, organised discussion groups, and ordered the killing of suspected informants.
Still in Vologda, Stalin agreed, remaining a Central Committee member for the rest of his life. In May , he was arrested again and imprisoned in the Shpalerhy Prison , before being sentenced to three years exile in Siberia. After the October Duma elections resulted in six Bolsheviks and six Mensheviks being elected, Stalin wrote articles calling for reconciliation between the two Marxist factions, for which he was criticised by Lenin.
Stalin",  a name he had been using since In February , Stalin was arrested while back in Saint Petersburg. The Russian Empire became a de facto republic, headed by a Provisional Government dominated by liberals. Stalin helped organise the July Days uprising, an armed display of strength by Bolshevik supporters. Stalin and fellow senior Bolshevik Leon Trotsky both endorsed Lenin's plan of action, but it was initially opposed by Kamenev and other party members. On 24 October, police raided the Bolshevik newspaper offices, smashing machinery and presses; Stalin salvaged some of this equipment to continue his activities.
Having dropped his editorship of Pravda ,  Stalin was appointed the People's Commissar for Nationalities. There, they based themselves in the Kremlin ; it was here that Stalin, Trotsky, Sverdlov, and Lenin lived. After the Bolsheviks seized power, both right and left-wing armies rallied against them, generating the Russian Civil War.
In December , Stalin was sent to Perm to lead an inquiry into how Alexander Kolchak 's White forces had been able to decimate Red troops based there. The Bolsheviks had won the civil war by late Following earlier clashes between Polish and Russian troops, the Polish—Soviet War broke out in early , with the Poles invading Ukraine and taking Kiev.
Stalin had cautioned against this; he believed that nationalism would lead the Polish working-classes to support their government's war effort. He also believed that the Red Army was ill-prepared to conduct an offensive war and that it would give White Armies a chance to resurface in Crimea , potentially reigniting the civil war. The Soviet government sought to bring neighbouring states under its domination; in February it invaded the Menshevik-governed Georgia ,  while in April , Stalin ordered the Red Army into Turkestan to reassert Russian state control.
Stalin's native Caucasus posed a particular problem due to its highly multi-ethnic mix. After the civil war, workers' strikes and peasant uprisings broke out across Russia, largely in opposition to Sovnarkom's food requisitioning project; as an antidote, Lenin introduced market-oriented reforms: the New Economic Policy NEP. Although concerns were expressed that adopting this new post on top of his others would overstretch his workload and give him too much power, Stalin was appointed to the position.
In May , a massive stroke left Lenin partially paralyzed. They also disagreed on the nature of the Soviet state. Lenin called for the country to be renamed the "Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia", reflecting his desire for expansion across the two continents. Stalin believed this would encourage independence sentiment among non-Russians, instead arguing that ethnic minorities would be content as "autonomous republics" within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Their differences also became personal; Lenin was particularly angered when Stalin was rude to his wife Krupskaya during a telephone conversation.
These criticised Stalin's rude manners and excessive power, suggesting that Stalin should be removed from the position of General Secretary. Lenin died in January Embarrassed by its contents, Stalin offered his resignation as General Secretary; this act of humility saved him and he was retained in the position.
As General Secretary, Stalin had had a free hand in making appointments to his own staff, implanting his loyalists throughout the party and administration. In the wake of Lenin's death, various protagonists emerged in the struggle to become his successor: alongside Stalin was Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Alexei Rykov , and Mikhail Tomsky.
In late , Stalin moved against Kamenev and Zinoviev, removing their supporters from key positions. Stalin was now the party's supreme leader,  although he was not the head of government , a task he entrusted to key ally Vyacheslav Molotov. In , Stalin published On Questions of Leninism. It nevertheless clashed with established Bolshevik views that socialism could not be established in one country but could only be achieved globally through the process of world revolution.
Instead, the KMT repressed the Communists and a civil war broke out between the two sides. In early Stalin travelled to Novosibirsk , where he alleged that kulaks were hoarding their grain and ordered that the kulaks be arrested and their grain confiscated, with Stalin bringing much of the area's grain back to Moscow with him in February. In , the Politburo announced the mass collectivisation of agriculture ,  establishing both kolkhozy collective farms and sovkhoz state farms.
Armed peasant uprisings against dekulakisation and collectivisation broke out in Ukraine, northern Caucasus, southern Russia, and central Asia, reaching their apex in March ; these were suppressed by the Red Army. By mid he was unable to rally sufficient support in the party to oppose the reforms.
Officially, the Soviet Union had replaced the "irrationality" and "wastefulness" of a market economy with a planned economy organised along a long-term, precise, and scientific framework; in reality, Soviet economics were based on ad hoc commandments issued from the centre, often to make short-term targets. Many of the major construction projects, including the White Sea-Baltic Canal and the Moscow Metro , were constructed largely through forced labour. In , Stalin declared that class war between the proletariat and their enemies would intensify as socialism developed.
Stalin desired a " cultural revolution ",  entailing both the creation of a culture for the "masses" and the wider dissemination of previously elite culture. Throughout the s and beyond, Stalin placed a high priority on foreign policy. Wells , both of whom were impressed with him. Stalin faced problems in his family life. In , his son Yakov unsuccessfully attempted suicide; his failure earned Stalin's contempt.
Within the Soviet Union, there was widespread civic disgruntlement against Stalin's government. The Soviet Union experienced a major famine which peaked in the winter of —33 ;  between five and seven million people died. In —36, Stalin oversaw a new constitution; its dramatic liberal features were designed as propaganda weapons, for all power rested in the hands of Stalin and his Politburo.
JOSEPH STALIN - The History Hour
Seeking improved international relations, in the Soviet Union secured membership of the League of Nations , of which it had previously been excluded. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July , the Soviets sent aircraft and tanks to the left-wing Republican faction ; these were accompanied by Soviet troops and 42, members of the International Brigades set up by the Communist International. Stalin often gave conflicting signals regarding state repression. Stalin orchestrated the arrest of many former opponents in the Communist Party as well as sitting members of the Central Committee : denounced as Western-backed mercenaries, many were imprisoned or exiled internally.
During the s and s, NKVD groups assassinated defectors and opponents abroad;  in August , Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico, eliminating the last of Stalin's opponents among the former Party leadership. Repressions further intensified in December and remained at a high level until November , a period known as the Great Purge. Stalin initiated all key decisions during the Terror, personally directing many of its operations and taking an interest in their implementation.
The real motivation for the terror, according to Harris, was an over-exaggerated fear of counterrevolution. As a Marxist—Leninist, Stalin expected an inevitable conflict between competing capitalist powers; after Nazi Germany annexed Austria and then part of Czechoslovakia in , Stalin recognised a war was looming. As Britain and France seemed unwilling to commit to an alliance with the Soviet Union, Stalin saw a better deal with the Germans. The Soviets further demanded parts of eastern Finland, but the Finnish government refused.
The speed of the German victory over and occupation of France in mid took Stalin by surprise.
History of the Soviet Union (1927–1953)
Plans were made for the Soviet government to evacuate to Kuibyshev , although Stalin decided to remain in Moscow, believing his flight would damage troop morale. Against the advice of Zhukov and other generals, Stalin emphasised attack over defence. The Soviets allied with the United Kingdom and United States;  although the US joined the war against Germany in , little direct American assistance reached the Soviets until late In April , Stalin overrode Stavka by ordering the Soviets' first serious counter-attack, an attempt to seize German-held Kharkov in eastern Ukraine.
This attack proved unsuccessful. By November , the Soviets had begun to repulse the important German strategic southern campaign and, although there were 2. In Allied countries, Stalin was increasingly depicted in a positive light over the course of the war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt , who were together known as the "Big Three". Using the idea of collective responsibility as a basis, Stalin's government abolished their autonomous republics and between late and deported the majority of their populations to Central Asia and Siberia.
In February , the three leaders met at the Yalta Conference. Churchill was concerned that this was the case, and unsuccessfully tried to convince the US that the Western Allies should pursue the same goal. And what is so awful in his having fun with a woman, after such horrors? With Germany defeated, Stalin switched focus to the war with Japan , transferring half a million troops to the Far East. After the war, Stalin was—according to Service—at the "apex of his career".
Despite his strengthened international position, Stalin was cautious about internal dissent and desire for change among the population. In this he recalled the Decembrist Revolt by Russian soldiers returning from having defeated France in the Napoleonic Wars. About half were then imprisoned in labour camps. By January , three percent of the Soviet population was imprisoned or in internal exile, with 2.
The NKVD were ordered to catalogue the scale of destruction during the war. Stalin allowed the Russian Orthodox Church to retain the churches it had opened during the war. Stalin's health was deteriorating, and heart problems forced a two-month vacation in the latter part of In the post-war period there were often food shortages in Soviet cities,  and the USSR experienced a major famine from to The US began pushing its interests on every continent, acquiring air force bases in Africa and Asia and ensuring pro-U. The US also offered financial assistance as part of the Marshall Plan on the condition that they opened their markets to trade, aware that the Soviets would never agree.
When Stalin Rounded Up Soviet Doctors
He initially refused, leading to an international crisis in , but one year later Stalin finally relented and moved the Soviet troops out. In , Stalin edited and rewrote sections of Falsifiers of History , published as a series of Pravda articles in February and then in book form. Written in response to public revelations of the Soviet alliance with Germany, it focused on blaming Western powers for the war.
After the war, Stalin sought to retain Soviet dominance across Eastern Europe while expanding its influence in Asia. Churchill observed that an " Iron Curtain " had been drawn across Europe, separating the east from the west. Stalin suggested that a unified, but demilitarised, German state be established, hoping that it would either come under Soviet influence or remain neutral. In October , Mao took power in China.
Initially Stalin refused to repeal the Sino-Soviet Treaty of , which significantly benefited the Soviet Union over China, although in January he relented and agreed to sign a new treaty between the two countries. At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union and the United States divided up the Korean Peninsula, formerly a Japanese colonial possession, along the 38th parallel , setting up a communist government in the north and a pro-Western government in the south.
The Soviet Union was one of the first nations to extend diplomatic recognition to the newly created state of Israel in In his later years, Stalin was in poor health. From until his death, Stalin only gave three public speeches, two of which lasted only a few minutes. It sought to provide a guide to leading the country for after his death. On 1 March , Stalin's staff found him semi-conscious on the bedroom floor of his Volynskoe dacha. Stalin's death was announced on 6 March. Stalin left no anointed successor nor a framework within which a transfer of power could take place.
Stalin claimed to have embraced Marxism at the age of fifteen,  and it served as the guiding philosophy throughout his adult life;  according to Kotkin, Stalin held "zealous Marxist convictions",  while Montefiore suggested that Marxism held a "quasi-religious" value for Stalin. Rieber noted that he had been raised in "a society where rebellion was deeply rooted in folklore and popular rituals".
I stand on the ground of the latter". As a Marxist and an extreme anti-capitalist, Stalin believed in an inevitable " class war " between the world's proletariat and bourgeoise. Stalin adhered to the Leninist variant of Marxism. Whereas Lenin believed that all countries across Europe and Asia would readily unite as a single state following proletariat revolution, Stalin argued that national pride would prevent this, and that different socialist states would have to be formed; in his view, a country like Germany would not readily submit to being part of a Russian-dominated federal state.
Stalinism was a development of Leninism,  and while Stalin avoided using the term "Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism", he allowed others to do so. This concept was intricately linked to factional struggles within the party, particularly against Trotsky. For this reason, he retained the Leninist view that world revolution was still a necessity to ensure the ultimate victory of socialism.
Stalin viewed nations as contingent entities which were formed by capitalism and could merge into others. He argued that Jewish nationalism, particularly Zionism , was hostile to socialism. Ethnically Georgian,  Stalin grew up speaking the Georgian language,  and did not begin learning Russian until the age of eight or nine.
Stalin had a soft voice,  and when speaking Russian did so slowly, carefully choosing his phrasing. Trotsky and several other Soviet figures promoted the idea that Stalin was a mediocrity. Stalin could play different roles to different audiences,  and was adept at deception, often deceiving others as to his true motives and aims. Stalin was ruthless,  temperamentally cruel,  and had a propensity for violence high even among the Bolsheviks. Averell Harriman .