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The Ultimate Bolshevik

In: Russian History
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  • 1 Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford UniversityStanford, CAUSA
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Abstract

Ron Suny’s Stalin: Passage to Revolution traces Stalin from a young revolutionary in the Caucasus to his ascent to the top of the Bolshevik hierarchy. Discovered and promoted by Lenin, the young Stalin agitated among the workers of the giant factories in Baku, Tiflis, and Batumi as Russian socialists split between Menshevism’s social democracy and Bolshevism’s Marxist revolution. Between 1902 and 1917, Stalin was arrested or exiled six times, escaping five times. Rushing to Petrograd in the wake of the abdication and formation of the coalition government, Stalin managed the Bolshevik press and served as the main Bolshevik figure in Lenin’s absence. Although not among the most popular political parties, the Bolshevik’s “ground game” among workers and soldiers proved decisive once Lenin concluded to begin the Bolshevik coup.

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