Reading List (Update): On Evil

By | April 14, 2018

[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:

Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog.  His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here:

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Reading List (Update): On Evil

  1. Darryl Sitterly

    Good book. Read it years ago and it is still on my favorite book shelf.

  2. Tony B. Custer

    Those who make excuses for Stalin and others like him are, themselves, evil just in disguise.

  3. Tony B. Custer

    Those who make excuses for Stalin and others like him are, themselves, evil just in disguise.

  4. Joe Omerrod

    Anytime we get to learn about evil and its defeat is a good day. I remain suprised by those who would consider Stalin a hero.

  5. Dennis Mathes

    It is always with pleasure and anticipation that I read your lead-in paragraph. It always includes a little tidbit about leadership too.

  6. William L. Anthony

    Evil is defined in many ways but I think we can agree that Stalin was likely the most evil man of the 20th century, surpassing even Hitler.

    1. Mark Evans

      Leftists will take issue with you and disagree. Stalin was a great man to them and no amount of killing will change their minds.

    2. Shawn C Stolarz

      I agree with you but many politically liberal folks will not.

  7. Janna Faulkner

    Gen Satterfield, you have a great collection of recommended readings. It is much appreciated. Thanks.

  8. Max Foster

    “Evil”… not so much a great mystery as it is attractive.

  9. Army Captain

    Any book that discusses the evil of Stalin and a culture that supports him and his kind is worthwhile.

  10. Mr. T.J. Asper

    Now that summer has arrived, I will be doing more reading. Thanks for your series on great leadership books.

  11. Georgie M.

    Oldie but goodie. I read the book long ago as it was assigned in a college political science course I was taking. I remember it well.

  12. Dale Paul Fox

    Nice summary. Also, appreciate Tom Copeland’s reading list

  13. Anita

    Never read nor heard of this book before. Thannks.

    1. Darryl Sitterly

      I got it about two years ago. Great book that liberals will never read.

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