Anyone got any good historians' / quotes? Critical of Lenin giving Stalin power... Watch

student_kyle
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Hi Guys! Just need to put the finishing touches on my History Personal Investigation coursework...
Im having trouble finding any historians or historian's quotes that would help me illustrate the argument of Lenin giving Stalin too much power (e.g. making him General Secretary, etc).

Well I did find 'Lenin: A new Biogaraphy' but I dont really want to spend over £30 on a book written by a historian im not too fond of! lol

My overall question is 'to what extent did Lenin betray the aims of the Russian Revolution?'

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!
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henryt
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Surely you could use the fact that Lenin didn't want Stalin to become leader in his last testament to say that Stalin already had too much power as General Secretary... I have the quote:

"Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary, has great power concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure he always knows how to use that power with significant caution" and "Stalin is too rude, and this fault... becomes unnaceptable in the Office of General Secretary. Therefore, I propose to the comrades that a way be found to remove Stalin from that post and replace him with someone else who differes from Stalin all respects, someone more partient, more loyal, more polite, more considerate."

Lenin recognised that he had given Stalin too much power, and wanted to use his last bit of power to stop Stalin from becoming leader. Obviously, it didn't work because his last testament contains lots of criticisms about everyone, so it wasn't publicized...

But I don't really have any historian's quotes... I'll have a search!

Hope that helps!
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student_kyle
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thanks for the quick reply! yes i have that source here in front of me also, was thinking about incorporating it and it would probably be best. The problem is i used his testiment in the argument for defending Lenin... a historian would really be the perfect solution...

If you can find one I would be most greatful!
Thanks again..
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cubanarmy
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I know that the historian Robert Conquest is really critical of Stalin, more than any other reputable historian. So he's propably critical of Lenin giving him power.
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MandaMcMoo
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Are you kidding? Robert Conquest is half in love with Stalin. He makes out that Stalin was totally in control in Russia when it would have been impossible. Conquest is a rather creepy dictator loving guy. But he'd probably have some quote about Lenin. (ie "How dare that baldy weirdo insult Staliny-poookums?")
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cubanarmy
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(Original post by MandaMcMoo)
Are you kidding? Robert Conquest is half in love with Stalin. He makes out that Stalin was totally in control in Russia when it would have been impossible. Conquest is a rather creepy dictator loving guy. But he'd probably have some quote about Lenin. (ie "How dare that baldy weirdo insult Staliny-poookums?")
Although Conquest claims that Stalin was in total control of Russia, he actually does paint the blackest picture of him. Does this sound like something a pro stain historian would say? Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror- Famine by Robert Conquest claims to give the evidence that during 1932-33 Soviet leaders, chiefly Joseph Stalin, deliberately starved over 10 million people to death, most of them in the Ukraine.
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crazygirl4521
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I know some good Churchill ones?
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Jimjamjamio
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Alex Nove is very critical of Stalin, look at some of his work
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philjw
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(Original post by student_kyle)
Well I did find 'Lenin: A new Biogaraphy' but I dont really want to spend over £30 on a book written by a historian im not too fond of! lol
Dude, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library

But seriously, I did a similar theme for my study and there are a few historians who take this line - Conquest being one of them as has been pointed out.

Still, I thought you might be interested in these two quotes from actual contemporaries of Lenin, talking about the Bolshevik state and how they felt it had betrayed the ideals of the February revolution:
(Original post by Rosa Luxemburg, 1918)
Freedom only for the supporters of the Government, only for the members of one Party - however numerous they may be - is no freedom at all...
Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of Press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life in which only the bureaucracy remains as the new active element.
(Original post by Bakunin)
Those previous workers having just become rulers or representatives of the people will cease being workers; they will look at the workers from their heights, they will represent not the people but themselves... He who doubts it does not know human nature.
Also, see what Lenin said in a postcript to his political testament (almost a deathbed recantation of giving Stalin power:
(Original post by Lenin)
Stalin is too rude, and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealings among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a General Secretary. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that position and appointing another man in his stead...
Suggests that Lenin himself regretted giving Stalin power, perhaps?

Hope these primary sources help - all sourced from "The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union 1917-1991", edited by Richard Sakwa (Routledge) - one of the most useful book of source materials you can buy on the USSR.
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