Book Talk: Joshua Rubenstein’s “The Last Days of Stalin,” Mon., Oct. 31 at noon

Book Talk: Joshua Rubenstein’s “The Last Days of Stalin,” Mon., Oct. 31 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Joshua Rubenstein’s recently published book titled The Last Days of Stalin (Yale Univ. Press).  This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and the Harvard Law School East Asian Legal Studies program.

Copies of The Last Days of Stalin will be available for sale and Joshua Rubenstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Monday, October 31, 2016 at noon, with lunch

Harvard Law School Room Lewis 214A (Directions)



1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Josh Rubenstein poster

About Joshua Rubenstein

Joshua Rubenstein is an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University. He was an organizer and regional director for Amnesty International USA for thirty-seven years. His previous books include the National Jewish Book Award-winner Stalin’s Secret Pogrom, published by Yale University Press.

More About The Last Days of Stalin

“Joshua Rubenstein’s riveting account takes us back to the second half of 1952 when no one could foresee an end to Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime. He was poised to challenge the newly elected U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower with armed force, and was also broadening a vicious campaign against Soviet Jews. Stalin’s sudden collapse and death in March 1953 was as dramatic and mysterious as his life. It is no overstatement to say that his passing marked a major turning point in the twentieth century.

The Last Days of Stalin is an engaging, briskly told account of the dictator’s final active months, the vigil at his deathbed, and the unfolding of Soviet and international events in the months after his death. Rubenstein throws fresh light on:

  • the devious plotting of Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, and other “comrades in arms” who well understood the significance of the dictator’s impending death;
  • the witness-documented events of his death as compared to official published versions;
    Stalin’s rumored plans to forcibly exile Soviet Jews;
  • the responses of Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles to the Kremlin’s conciliatory gestures after Stalin’s death; and
  • the momentous repercussions when Stalin’s regime of terror was cut short.” — Yale Univ. Press

Commentator

William C. Taubman

William C. Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Amherst College

Reviews of The Last Days of Stalin

“Stalin’s death in March 1953 cut short another spasm of blood purges he was planning, but triggered only limited Soviet reforms. To some Westerners it promised an extended period of peace, but others feared it would leave the West even more vulnerable. Joshua Rubenstein’s lively, detailed, carefully crafted book chronicles a key twentieth-century turning point that didn’t entirely turn, revealing what difference Stalin’s death did and didn’t make and why.” – William Taubman, author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

“A clear, sober and emotionally powerful narrative that brings to life the last years of Joseph Stalin’s rule, showing vividly how the death of the tyrant changed Soviet and international politics and brought relief to millions of his existing and potential victims, and first and foremost the Soviet Jews.” —  Serhii Plokhy, author of The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine

“Based on a plethora of primary Soviet sources, Rubenstein has produced a persuasive and well-written account of the convoluted time that followed Stalin’s death in March 1953. He discusses the complex succession politics in the Kremlin and provides much new information. Rubenstein also explores Eisenhower’s and Dulles’ disinterest in taking up Churchill’s proposals to exploit the ‘narrow window of opportunity’ to embark on constructive negotiations with Moscow once Stalin had gone. This is an enlightening and important book.” —  Klaus Larres, author of Churchill’s Cold War: The Politics of Personal Diplomacy

“Securely based on multilingual primary sources, The Last Days of Stalin is a fascinating and often chilling reconstruction of the months surrounding the Soviet dictator’s death and the opportunities that arose for meaningful change — not all of them taken.”— Saul David, Evening Standard

“Joshua Rubenstein, in his vivid, brisk account, describes the months on each side of Stalin’s death to give the reader a sense of the significance of this turning point.”— Robbie Millen, the Times

“Joshua Rubenstein’s account of Stalin’s death and the responses to it is very well done… an accessible and engaging book.”— Geoffrey Roberts, Irish Times

“Intriguing.”— David Mikics, Tablet

“A fascinating work.”— Amy Lewonstin, Library Journal

“Joshua Rubenstein tells a gripping tale of the year around Stalin’s death, including revealing previously unknown details of the trial of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and Stalin’s version of the Final Solution, the Doctors’ Plot.”— Brett M. Rhyne, The Jewish Advocate

“Joshua Rubenstein’s extremely interesting account of the ailing Stalin’s last days draws upon personal memoirs and new research – and conveys the deep fear inculcated during “the Black Years of Soviet Jewry”.” — Colin Shindler, Jewish Chronicle

“Convincing . . . fascinating.” — Rosemary Sullivan, The Wall Street Journal

“[Stalin’s] last days make a dramatic story, and Rubenstein tells it well.”— Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Guardian

“A compact, chilling account.”— Harvey Blume, The Arts Fuse

 

 

%d bloggers like this: