RaveThe Wall Street JournalKatharine Gregorio tells Clark’s story in engaging, well-researched and vivid detail ... Among the many pleasures of The Double Life of Katharine Clark is Ms. Gregorio’s account of Clark’s courageous efforts to secure safe passage for Djilas’s manuscripts ... Never one to call attention to herself, Katharine Clark remained silent about the role she had played in bringing Djilas’s work to the attention of the broader world ... The Double Life of Katharine Clark is an eloquent tribute to them both.
Ronald Grigor Suny
MixedWall Street Journal...Ronald Grigor Suny’s Stalin: Passage to Revolution is a worthy contribution to this continuing enterprise [of writing Stalin\'s biography] ... In highly readable prose Mr. Suny, a history professor at the University of Michigan, tells the story of the young Stalin’s rise within the ranks of the Bolsheviks, its disputes with the more moderate Mensheviks, and his frequent arrests and terms of imprisonment and exile ... Mr. Suny’s account of the tensions between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks is spirited and compelling ... With his focused attention on Stalin, Mr. Suny also goes too far in trying to correct earlier scholars and figures who played down Stalin’s role in the October Revolution.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewTimothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale, compels us to look squarely at the full range of destruction committed first by Stalin’s regime and then by Hitler’s Reich ... Drawing on material in several European languages, including memoirs and scholarly literature, Snyder recounts this sequence of mass murder — by Stalin and then by Hitler — which accounted for 14 million civilian deaths in little more than a dozen years ... Snyder punctuates his comprehensive and eloquent account with brief glimpses of individual victims, perpetrators and witnesses, among them the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, who wrote about Soviet Ukraine and Nazi Germany in the 1930s ... But Bloodlands falters when Snyder comes to deal with the aftermath of the war in the Soviet Union. Stalin became obsessed with the Jews.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalThe three central episodes of Mr. Kotkin’s narrative, all from the 1930s, are indeed violent and catastrophic, if in different ways: the forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture; the atrocities of the Great Terror, when Stalin ‘arrested and murdered immense numbers of loyal people’; and the rise of Adolf Hitler, the man who would become Stalin’s ally and then, as Mr. Kotkin puts it, his ‘principal nemesis.’ In each case, as Mr. Kotkin shows, Stalin’s personal character—a combination of ruthlessness and paranoia—played a key role in the unfolding of events … There have been many other biographies of Stalin, but none matches the range of information and analysis that animates Mr. Kotkin’s ambitious project. Waiting for Hitler is biography and history on a grand scale—equal in scope to the enormity of the events it describes.