Stalin and Europe

Imitation and Domination, 1928-1953

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The Soviet Union was the largest state in the twentieth-century world, but its repressive power and terrible ambition were most clearly on display in Europe. Under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union transformed itself and then all of the European countries with which it came into contact. This volume considers each aspect of the encounter of Stalin with Europe: the attempt to create a kind of European state by accelerating the European model of industrial development in the USSR; mass murder in anticipation of a war against European powers; the actual contact with Europe’s greatest power, Nazi Germany, first as ally and then as enemy; four years of war fought chiefly on Soviet territory and bringing untold millions of deaths, including much of the Holocaust; and finally the reestablishment of the Soviet system, not just in prewar territory of the USSR, but in Western Ukraine, Western Belarus, the Baltic States, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and East Germany.


"Stalin and Europe continues a process of reorientation that seeks to incorporate Eastern European and Russian history into European history. The issue of Stalinism and its place in Europe is a particularly treacherous challenge, which this volume resolves in a series of probing essays that explore the Soviet Union's paradoxical relation to the rest of Europe. A diverse group of historians on Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union presents the results of voluminous, recent research on the subject. They are an important reminder, and provide ample food for thought, on Russia as a force in European history." --Michael Geyer, University of Chicago
"I read this fascinating, lively collection through from beginning to end in one sitting. That speaks highly for the quality and the challenges that each of the pieces offers. The contributions are primarily from top national and international experts in the field, including a number of rising stars and scholars from Central Europe. All of the essays are grounded in the archives and based on original research. The volume features a variety of methods, perspectives, and approaches, from newer social history to more traditional military and diplomatic history. The collection as a whole reminds us of the seamless transition from the 1930s in the Soviet Union, into war and conquest, and on into the Cold War." --Robert Gellately, author of Stalin's Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War

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