[April 14, 2018] It has been said that it is a person’s own mind, not the enemy or foe, which lures a person to evil ways. Evil (what it is and is not) is humankind’s greatest mystery which remains unresolved yet continues to be tenacious in its damage to countless civilizations. I often chuckle to myself when I see a movie that has an “evil” person who bad things to other people because there is no movie that can truly educate us about such evil. However, there are those who have tried and we can learn valuable lessons about what evil has done and why. That is the impetus for my reading of a book by Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko. Like you, I never heard of him before I picked up a book of his by accident. I was walking through a bookstore and there it was on the discount rack for $1. It was the title that grabbed my attention and so, I thought, what could go wrong for so little money. Indeed, the book was more than I could have ever expected.
The Time of Stalin: Portrait of a Tyranny, Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko, 1981.
The author is no dispassionate writer. Oveseyenko provides us details into the evil of USSR’s and the world’s most evil man. Joseph Stalin’s crimes against humanity will never be fully documented for the sheer magnitude, official cover-ups, and denials. The Soviet Union never fully acknowledged what happened under Stalin and never will because there is a significant Stalinist contingent in popular politics in Russia today. Oveseyenko is clear in his strongly worded book. Stalin was not ruthlessly dedicated to principles (like many on the political left would have us believe) but was wholly unprincipled and discarded them as needed. Stalin is portrayed in the book as a man without any redeeming features. For example, anyone who posed a threat to Stalin (real or imagined) had to be done away with. Anyone who was successful, popular, intelligent had to go. Some have said that it is impossible to understand the mind of one who deliberately caused widespread death and destruction in his homeland. Oveseyenko has done a good job attempting to do so. Highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map