Boris Bazhanov

Listed in: Literary Studies · Political Science · European History

On January 1, 1928, Bazhanov escaped from the Soviet Union and became for many years the most important member of a new breed—the Soviet defector. At the age of 28, he had become an invaluable aid to Stalin and the Politburo, and had he stayed in Stalin’s service, Bazhanov might well have enjoyed the same meteoric careers as the man who replaced him when he left, Georgy Malenkov. However, Bazhanov came to despise the unethical and brutal regime he served.

“In this riveting and illuminating book, Bazhanov provides an eyewitness account of the inner workings and personalities of the Soviet Central Committee and the Politburo in the 1920s. Bazhanov clearly details how Stalin invaded the communications of his opponents, rigges votes, built up his own constituency, and maneuvered to schieve his coup d'etat despite formidable odds. He also provides a better understanding of the curiously vapid way in which the other revolutionary leaders, most notable Trotsky, failed to appreciate the threat and let Stalin override them. He reveals how those Soviets with a sense of fairness, justice and ethics were extinguishes by Stalin and his minions, and how the self-centered, protective bureaucratic machine was first built. Bazhanov's view, at the right hand of Stalin, is unique and chilling.”

David W. Doyle