On Stalin's Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.5 X 1.3 inches | 1.55 pounds

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About the Author

Sheila Fitzpatrick is professor of history at the University of Sydney and Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago.


"Co-Winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-Fiction, Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts"
"2015 Silver Winner in History, ForeWord Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards"
"Honorable Mention for the 2016 PROSE Award in Government & Politics, Association of American Publishers"
"One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016"
"Though there have been a number of fine studies of Stalin and his henchmen in the past few years, On Stalin's Team offers new insight into the complex group dynamics that sustained his political power for so long."---Rachel Polonsky, Times Literary Supplement
"One of the most novel sections of the book is the chapter on how the ruling group fared without Stalin. Fitzpatrick shows the team managing the post-Stalin transition remarkably well, not only maintaining stability but even launching a raft of reforms. Building on a recent vein of scholarship, she suggests that they were able to do this precisely because they had already consolidated as a group under the dictator."---Yoram Gorlizki, London Review of Books
"A superb group portrait of the dictator's closest lieutenants at a pivotal moment in history."---Joshua Rubenstein, Wall Street Journal
"[On Stalin's Team is] a well-researched study of the social and political lives of the men who supported, encouraged, and abetted Stalin."-- "Kirkus"
"Rich in politics as well as personal intrigue. . . . [W]ell worth reading."-- "Library Journal"
"Impressive . . . this is a rare and highly accomplished piece of scholarship. . . . Fitzpatrick shows herself to be a master storyteller as well. . . . [Her] innovative approach situates Stalin firmly in his personal milieu for the first time, helps to elucidate how he actually exercised power through his team, and offers a compelling sense of the personalities and relationships at play in the Soviet elite that will prove invaluable in interpreting party and government records via their human context."---Lara Cook, Times Higher Education
"Fitzpatrick's book does not just establish her argument, but also gives a series of wonderful, horrifying and sometimes hilarious insights into what the top Stalinists were actually like."---David Aaronovitch, The Times
"Fitzpatrick has written an interesting, accessible, and valuable study of Stalin's 'team, ' the men who surrounded and largely survived the Soviet dictator. . . . The book adds new detail and insight on Stalin's personality, political modus operandi, intrigues, and Weltanschauung. It adds immensely to knowledge of Stalin and Russia and is a rich supplement to Simon Montefiore's Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar."---D. J. Dunn, Choice
"Compelling and convincing."---Geoffrey Roberts, Literary Review
"It might seem strange to describe a book about Joseph Stalin and his entourage as a sheer pleasure, but that's what Fitzpatrick's book is. Simple, honest, and direct, but subtle in tone, it manages to convey what was human and complex about something stark and inhuman. . . . One comes away from this book with a far better sense of what it must have been like within the inner sanctum as it went about its business: sometimes heroic, all too often monstrous."---Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
"[A] superbly researched, intelligent book."---Donald Rayfield, Guardian
"A fascinating look into the lives and work of the Soviet leadership. . . . This is an excellent book. It is written in a way that will appeal to a wide audience of scholars and the broader public. It is both a study of team politics and interpersonal relationships at the top of the Soviet political leadership, as well as an engaging story of the ups and downs experienced by Stalin's closest associates. This is a page turner-a gripping story that will fascinate and enthrall the reader."---Steven Maddox, Russian Review
"Thanks in no small measure to this elegantly written book, historians should no longer regard 'Stalin's men' as mere also-rans. Collectively, they played a major role in shaping and managing a vast country from the late 1920s through to the 1960s, in the process helping to transform it into a global superpower."---Kevin McDermott, Journal of Modern History
"A potent reminder of the value of studying the informal practices of power hidden behind the regime's formal structures and official statements."---Peter Whitewood, Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
"A captivating portrait of an incredible era, which will be of great interest to the seasoned scholar, fledgling student and general reader alike."---Matthew Blackburn, Europe-Asia Studies