The Vyacheslav Molotov Book Report Essay Research

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The Vyacheslav Molotov Book Report Essay, Research Paper For much of the time between 1930 and 1952, Vyacheslav Molotov, a laconic, unsmiling man called Mr Nyet behind his back by western diplomats, was second only to Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. He played a decisive role in the famine of 1932, during which millions of peasants died of starvation and disease. He was instrumental in liquidating the kulaks (the land-owning farmers). He was Stalin’s faithful henchman during the Great Terror, in 1936-38, when both the Red Army command and the country’s political leadership were decimated. His name is on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939, which kept the Soviet Union out of the war until it was attacked by Hitler two years later. His final years as a power in the land

encompassed some of the chilliest days of the cold war.Nikita Khrushchev, Molotov’s rival, sent him out of harm’s way, as ambassador to Outer Mongolia. In 1962 Molotov was expelled from the party but he was re-instated in 1984. Having served Lenin and Stalin, he died a pensioner in 1986, aged 96. Not a bad record for somebody whom a British historian, D.C. Watt, described as “one of the most inexorably stupid men to hold the foreign minister ship of any major power in this century.” That judgment is inaccurate, as this book shows. Molotov was the supreme apparatchik. Stalin ordered him to divorce his wife. Molotov complied–only to be reunited with her after Stalin’s death. Resilience guided by intuitive cunning ensured his endurance, but only just. “I think that if

he [Stalin] had remained alive another year, I would not have survived.” For all that, Molotov remained to the last an unrepentant Stalinist, defending without equivocation everything Stalin did and stood for. Felix Chuev, a Russian biographer and an admirer of Molotov, painstakingly recorded conversations with his hero in meetings stretching over a period of 17 years. These conversations have been edited for this book by Albert Resis, an American historian. Although some of the material is uninteresting, a lot of it is both significant and fascinating. The book is organised not chronologically but according to topics. This helps impart a more vivid, comprehensive impression of Molotov and his times. On international affairs, Molotov is typically epigrammatic. In the sections

“With Lenin” and “With Stalin”, he is almost expansive. Although you feel that Mr Chuev is far too easy on his subject throughout, here the book really comes to life. The central message in all that Molotov has to say is that Stalin was right. Molotov himself predicts: In time, Stalin will be rehabilitated in history. There will be a Stalin museum in Moscow. Without fail! By popular demand. The role of Stalin was tremendous. I do not doubt that his name will rise again and duly win a glorious place in history. In 1991 Terra, a leading Moscow publisher, printed 300,000 copies of an earlier version of this book. In his introduction, Mr Resis suggests that its publication was “intended to rally neo-Stalinists and other hard-liners in a movement to oust Gorbachev and

establish a quasi-Stalinist regime.” The results of Russia’s elections presumably came as less of a surprise to the publishers than to many western commentators.