Richard Pipes is Professor of History Emeritus at Harvard. He is the author of several books, including The Russian Revolution, Uvarov: A Life, and, most recently, Alexander Yakovlev: The Man Whose Ideas Delivered Russia from Communism.
 (December 2015)

The Cleverness of Joseph Stalin

Lenin and Stalin at Gorki, just outside Moscow, September 1922; photograph by Maria Ulyanova, Lenin’s sister. Stephen Kotkin writes that ‘Stalin had images of his visit published to show Lenin’s supposed recovery—and his own proximity to the Bolshevik leader. This pose was not among those published.’
Joseph Stalin, for a quarter-century undisputed master of the Soviet Union and its postwar satellites, was one of the leading mass murderers of the murderous twentieth century. So much so that Hitler, Stalin’s competitor in this field, came greatly to admire him. In some of his “table talks,” held in …