New from Mehring Books

Stalin’s Terror of 1937-1938: Political Genocide in the USSR

Advance orders now being taken

1 June 2009

Mehring Books is now taking advance orders for the first English translation of Stalin’s Terror of 1937- 1938: Political Genocide in the USSR, by the late Russian Marxist historian Vadim Rogovin. The book is being published in both cloth and paperback and will be available by the end of the month.

Book coverThis volume continues Rogovin’s exhaustive study of the Great Purge begun in his book 1937: Stalin’s Year of Terror (also available from Mehring). It spans the period from June 1937 to the end of 1938. Rogovin presents an insightful and detailed account, based on recent archival material, of the most tragic years in the history of the Soviet Union.

Rogovin makes the case that the aim of Stalin’s terror was the annihilation of the socialist opposition within the Soviet Union to his bureaucratic regime. He puts at the center of his analysis Stalin’s chief opponent, Leon Trotsky, whose political struggle embodied the genuine traditions of the October 1917 revolution in Russia. Rogovin insists that it is impossible to understand the purges without referring to the determination of Stalin to eliminate all traces of Trotsky’s influence, whose ideas, despite massive repression, continued to have broad sympathy within the Soviet working class and intelligentsia. Most contemporary historians, for various ideological reasons, tend to ignore the central role that the struggle against the influence of Trotsky played in the terror.

Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin was a Doctor of Philosophical Sciences and leading researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He authored 250 scholarly works, including eight monographs on the problems of social policy, the history of social thought and the history of political movements in the former USSR. Before his untimely death in September 1998, Dr. Rogovin presented lectures all over the world about the socialist-based opposition to the Stalinist regime.

As David North, chairman of the World Socialist Web Site editorial board, wrote in a tribute to Vadim Rogovin, “What imparts to Vadim’s work its moral intensity is not only the author’s indignation, but above all his conviction that Stalinism represented only a temporary derailment of the cause of world socialism. Notwithstanding the defeat it suffered in the 1930s, the Trotskyist movement embodied the possibility that the Soviet Union might have developed along a very different and far more progressive path.”

The noted expert on Russian history, Alexander Rabinowitch, emeritus professor at Indiana University, writes, “Stalin’s Terror of 1937-1938 by the late eminent, erudite, and courageous Russian Marxist scholar Vadim Rogovin reflects a lifetime of study and thought about the mainsprings, development, and historical impact of the Great Terror. Based heavily on data from rarely used Soviet and post-Soviet Russian archival documents, memoirs, and periodicals, as well as a wide range of Russian émigré sources, Rogovin’s reconstruction and interpretation is a major contribution to new knowledge about one of the most devastating events of the twentieth century. It is essential reading for all those interested in the fate of the Russian revolutions, modern Russia, and the history of international socialism.”

The book is 513 pages and contains many photographs and illustrations, as well as a glossary and index. 

Order now and receive a special discounted price. An additional discount is available if you purchase both Stalin’s Terror of 1937-1938 and 1937: Stalin’s Year of Terror.