The Workers Paradise

With the Soviet archives opening up, more details of the Communist paradise are finding the light of the day. The antics of the saints who adorn the wall of Communist party offices in India can now be read in Paul R. Gregory’s Lenin’s Brain and Other Tales from the Secret Soviet Archives. This includes details of Stalin’s Great Terror of 1937-38 when 700,000 people were shot dead and the murder of 21, 857 Polish POWs in 1939. According to a Newsweek review, the book “reveals Stalin and his successors as trigger-happy liars who never saw a fact they couldn’t twist.”

Such moving stories explain why this slim book is just the right antidote to the often daunting studies most scholars produce after working in the archives. The hefty books certainly serve their purpose. But Gregory has wisely chosen to reach out to a broader audience by providing a highly accessible primer on the deadly workings of the state that proclaimed itself the workers’ paradise. In the process he provides a timely reminder of how quickly a utopian vision can be transformed into a nightmarish reality.[Declassifying the Kremlin | Newsweek Books |]

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