Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Stalin's Children

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Stalin's Children

Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival

by Owen Matthews

Stalin's Children
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 320 pages
    Sep 2009, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Beyond the Book

The History of Russia & The Soviet Union during the first half of the 20th Century

The history of Russia and the Soviet Union during the first half of the 20th century is complex to say the least, characterized by near-constant turmoil. The autocratic reign of the Tsars came to an end in 1917, sparked by economic hardship instigated by Russia's involvement in World War I, rapid urban growth, and the rise of the middle class. Various political parties emerged to vie for leadership in the ensuing vacuum, with the Bolshevik Party led by Vladimir Lenin ultimately prevailing. Lenin's death in 1924 led to a power struggle which left party leadership in the hands of Joseph Stalin.

Stalin's policy of aggressive industrialization led to workers leaving the farms for employment at the new factories. The result was fewer agricultural workers producing food, and more industrial workers who needed to be fed. In addition, the peasants resisted ...

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