Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend

Domenico Losurdo, Henry Hakamäki, Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro

Book cover for Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend
Book cover for Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend
Book cover for Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend
Book cover for Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend

Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend

Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend

Domenico Losurdo, Henry Hakamäki, Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro

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Description

Iskra Books is proud to publish the first authorized English edition of Domenico Losurdo's now-mythic text, Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend-translated for the first time from the original Italian. Operating under the assumption that the prevalent rejection of, or dismissiveness about, Josef Stalin as a historical figure merits closer and critical inspection, Losurdo encourages readers to make up their own mind on Stalin, rather than to uncritically accept received, popular notions. In fact, it is precisely the now-widespread caricatures of Stalin as personified evil-rife in liberal democracies and uncritically accepted by most Western leftists-that Losurdo shows to be more related to contingent ruling class preoccupations than actual evidence. Even pointing out such problems with conventional representations of Stalin brought a shower of accusations of "Stalinism" or "neo-Stalinism" upon Losurdo, who made it clear that the text of Stalin was not a rehabilitation but a contribution to contextualizing and ending the demonization of Stalin, who was even, in 1946, praised by Gandhi.Losurdo's work on the historical representations of Stalin, as well as other works like it, is perhaps more vital today than it ever has been. With the passage of time, we become further removed from the contemporary voices challenging the construction of what has become the hegemonic view of Stalin. Losurdo teaches us, among other things, that historical contextualization and coeval comparisons are crucial to testing one's political philosophy and principles, to deepening our knowledge of socialist history, and, at the same time, a key to dismantling bourgeois ideologies."Domenico Losurdo's Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend recaptures the distorted personal and political narrative proffered by western historians for over 75 years. This magisterial work convincingly counters the biased distortions of both establishment and left historians through a balanced historiographic and philosophical exegesis of Stalin's complex life and leadership, as well as his contribution to socialism and the defeat of fascism. Losurdo's heretical counter-hegemonic history authentically counters the mythical, demonic figure into a true-to-life biography of the most significant political figure of the 20th century. Fifteen years after its publication in Italian, Henry Hakamäki and Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro's superb translation brings Losurdo's compelling corrective of Stalin to English readers."Immanuel Ness, Author of Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class"In this intrepid and rigorous study, Domenico Losurdo takes on the myth of the monster by shedding much-needed light on the monstrous situation in which Joseph Stalin found himself: that of building the world's first socialist state under conditions of incessant imperialist assault, civil war, subversive plots, fascist invasion, and the risks of nuclear annihilation. Losurdo's dialectical assessment of the commendable as well as the deplorable decisions made by Soviet leadership, given the circumstances, provides the reader with an extraordinary opportunity to learn practical and difficult lessons from concrete history. This book is thus an essential antidote to the terrifying tales whose purpose is to produce fear-induced ignorance, and thus benighted ideological alignment against 'the monster.'"Gabriel Rockhill, Founding Director of the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique, Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University

Publishing Information

Publisher: Iskra Books
Pub date: 2023-08-10
Length: 388 pages
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