Stephen Kotkin, Stalin. Volume I. Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, Penguin Press, New York, 2014, 976 p.

  • Ionuț Mircea Marcu University of Bucharest


Stephen Kotkin is one of the few historians who are well known even outside academia. And for good reasons, indeed. His contributions, especially Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization or Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000, created important debates about the Soviet regime and are regarded as very influential in promoting a new paradigm for Soviet studies: the post-revisionism. The main paradigm-shift (using Thomas Kuhn`s concept) made was to include into historical inquire all the various ways in which individuals adapted to the political regime, as Kotkin himself defined socialism not only as a political arragement of institutions and practices, but as a experience, lived differently by different actors, in various contexts.

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