"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Anatomy of Stalin's Terror

For Eastern Christians in the former Soviet Union, the terror of that evil regime is not news. It martyred thousands if not millions of Orthodox and Catholic Christians--and still others. But that terror still continues to be studied, including in a book just published this summer: James Harris, ed., The Anatomy of Terror: Political Violence under Stalin (Oxford UP, 2013), 400pp.

About this book we are told:
Stalin's Terror of the 1930s has long been a popular subject for historians. However, while for decades, historians were locked in a narrow debate about the degree of central control over the terror process, recent archival research is underpinning new, innovative approaches and opening new perspectives. Historians have begun to explore the roots of the Terror in the heritage of war and mass repression in the late Imperial and early Soviet periods; in the regime's focus not just on former "oppositionists," wreckers and saboteurs, but also on crime and social disorder; and in the common European concern to identify and isolate "undesirable" elements. Recent studies have examined in much greater depth and detail the precipitants and triggers that turned a determination to protect the Revolution into a ferocious mass repression.
The Anatomy of Terror is an edited volume which brings together the work of the leading historians in the field, presenting not only the latest developments in the subject, but also the latest evolution of the debate. The sixteen chapters are divided into eight themes, with some themes reflecting the diversity of sources, methodologies and angles of approach, others showing stark differences of opinion. This opens up the field of study to further research, and this volume will proof indispensable for historians of political violence and of the era of Stalinist Terror.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...