Lenin, Stalin and Communist Russia

The Myth and Reality of Communism

Author: Dr Robert Johnson: Director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow of Pembroke College, and Associate of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

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Cover for Lenin, Stalin and Communist Russia
Lenin, Stalin and Communist Russia

Who else wants to be able to be able to analyse the development of Modern Russia? Given the war in Ukraine and Russia’s clear aim at expansion in Europe and the rise of right wing politics, there has never been a more important time to study Russia’s development. The author makes the point that:

Ideologies often damage society… Convinced of the righteousness and singularity of their cause, ideologues propagated a worldview that was exclusive and determinant.’

How true then and in a post Brexit Europe where there are suggestions that Russian foreign policy is designed to destabilize Europe, how true today.

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The book covers:

  • The rewriting of Russian History: here the author looks at how the Soviets changed history and how the West viewed this period of history.
  • Russia under the Tsars, including revolutionary organisations & economic problems.
  • Marxism, Leninism and the Early Bolshevik Party: including Marxism and Lenin’s adaptation of Marxism: Marxist-Leninism and Lenin’s role in Russian history.
  • The Crucible of Russia’s problems, 1905-1917: The revolution of 1905 and why it failed,the consequences of Tsarist Foreign Policy 1905-1914, Russia and the First World War.
  • The February Revolution: theories on the revolution, the provisional government and its policies and problems, the Bolshevik position, The Kornilov affair.
  • The October ‘Revolution’: the myths and realities, the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and the destruction of the Soviets.
  • The Russian Civil War: the course of the Civil War, the Bolshevik victory, the effects of the Civil War.
  • The Economy and the Consolidation of Communism: War Communism, The Konstadt Revolt, The New Economic Policy, the effects of Lenin’s economic policies.
  • The Lenin Dictatorship and the Rise of Stalin: Lenin a red Tsar? Stalin’s use of the Lenin Cult, Stalin and his opposition and the definition of Stalinism.
  • Stalin’s Economic Programme: Stalin’s collectivization of agriculture, the five year plans, Stalin’s economic policies and their cost.
  • The Great Terror: Stalin’s Motives, the Show Trials, The Great Terror, the effects of The Great Terror and its effects.
  • Conquest and Subversion 1939-45: The Comitern, The Nazi-Soviet Pact, Stalin’s Wartime leadership.
  • Stalinism and the Cold War: the genesis of the cold war, Eastern European policies, Stalin’s final years.

Click here to read an extract from the book

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Author Dr Robert Johnson

Foreword Professor Chris Read

Price     £12.99

Format Paperback,                    215 x 135mm, 160pp  

ISBN                                  9781842851449

Territory World all language 2nd edition,

Emeliajane 5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of a book

Verified Purchase

This was a fantastic read. Factual and clear, giving a great explanation of the Stalin era and the politics in Russia from the time of Lenin through to the Cold War.

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Lenin, Stalin and Communist Russia

Lenin, Stalin and Communist Russia: The Myth and Reality of Communism (Studymates A Plus)
Super book. A really top analysis of these two characters in history. If you are studying this period you need this book.

About the Author

Dr Rob Johnson is the Director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow of Pembroke College, and Associate of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian Defence University Staff College and Adjunct Professor of Strategic Studies at Rennes School of Business. He is a historian/IR scholar combining academic analyses with ‘knowledge exchange’ policy impact.

Dr Johnson advises and delivers direct support to government and armed forces in defence and security matters, transferring his knowledge in related academic and research fields. His bespoke advisory support is not limited to the United Kingdom, but is requested by governments and armed forces in the United States, Europe and Australia. He is now prominent within professional military education, and is a member of the advisory panel of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, lecturer for the Royal College of Defence Studies, and as the director of ‘insight and understanding’ study days and workshops. His former military career involved innovations in counter-terrorism, but also gives him a clear understanding of the requirements and thinking of the armed services.

He is specialist in: military strategy, operations, military conceptual developments, and strategic decision making. 

Dr Johnson has delivered courses in Strategic Studies (Politics and IR) and the History of War (History). He has offered postgraduate supervision on theses concerned with strategy, as well as undergraduate tutorials for a number of colleges, tuition on foreign exchange programmes, lectures in the undergraduate International Relations and General History circus and an un-examined lecture series on the history of war and strategy. He delivers teaching to overseas academic programmes, including those of Stanford, Harvard, and Yale. 

Dr Rob Johnson’s primary research interests are in strategy, its development, and the history of war which informs it. His regional interest is in the Middle East and Asia, but he is familiar with a number of global conflict and security issues. In light of recent strategic challenges, his research has necessarily addressed sub-threshold strategy/hybrid warfare, unconventional operations, cyber operations, multi-domain operational art, as well as insurgency and counter-insurgency. He has also examined how conflicts can be terminated, through transition and negotiation.

Dr Johnson has also published on the issue of civil-military relations in the making of strategy, and has examined the problems of maintaining internal security, the dynamics of insurrection, and the role of auxiliary forces. He has written on strategic advantages and risks of partnering irregular indigenous forces. His work on grand strategy, defence policy and military strategy includes a study of the First World War in the Middle East and edited volumes on military strategy in the 21st century, and the conduct of war. He has delivered papers on ‘cohesion in combat’, ‘joint operations’, ‘future operating environment’, ‘innovation’ and ‘strategy-making in the twenty-first century’, amongst other themes.

Currently he assists the UK and NATO armed forces in planning for reconfigured structures and missions and is focused on the difficulties of ‘planning future war’ using historical cases. He is actively involved in developing doctrine and new concepts. He also runs strategic exercises, including scenario-based learning processes grounded in history and recent conflicts, at the Royal College of Defence Studies, and lectures at the Higher Command and Staff Course at the UK Defence Academy.

Read Dr Rob Johnson’s take on The Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022


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