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On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics

by Sheila Fitzpatrick

Joseph Stalin was the unchallenged dictator of the Soviet Union for so long that most historians have dismissed the officials surrounding him as mere yes-men. On Stalin’s Team overturns this view, revealing that behind Stalin were a dozen or so loyal and competent men who formed a remarkably effective team from the late 1920s until his death in 1953, when they accomplished a brilliant transition as a reforming ‘collective leadership’.

Drawing on extensive original research, Sheila Fitzpatrick provides the first in-depth account of Stalin’s dedicated comrades-in-arms, who not only worked closely with their leader, but constituted his social circle. Key team members were Stalin’s number-two man, Molotov; the military leader Voroshilov, the charismatic and entrepreneurial Ordzhonikidze; the wily security chief Beria; and the deceptively simple Khrushchev, who finally disbanded the team in 1957 to become sole leader of the Soviet Union.



About Sheila Fitzpatrick

Sheila Fitzpatrick is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Sydney, and Emerita Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. Born and educated in Australia, Fitzpatrick moved in the early 1970s to the United States, where she made her career as a Soviet historian. Author of The Russian Revolution and Everyday Stalinism, she is considered a founder in the field of Soviet history.



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