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By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
Topic - Stalin
Exemplary bravery has placed the Ukrainian people on the cusp of achieving, for real, the independence it had gained from the Soviet Union's breakup in 1992 mostly as a formality.
In the five months since his biography of Cold War diplomat George Kennan came out, John Lewis Gaddis has been toasted as a master historian, and roasted as a conservative who minimized Kennan's liberal tendencies.
To readers of Ian Fleming's wildly popular James Bond spy thrillers, SMERSH was an omnipotent - and murderous - arm of Soviet intelligence, part of the network later known as the KGB. Fleming introduced SMERSH in his inaugural work, "Casino Royale," published in 1953, and over the years credited the organization with such exploits as the murder of Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940.
For American readers, it may seem a stretch from Tom Paine to Kim Philby, from pamphlets and polemics to treason. But seen from Britain, Paine was just another of those figures, apparently produced in some abundance there, who made common cause with enemies of their nation.
Virtually every adult in the Western world is by now aware of the barbarities committed by Hitler's Germany. A smaller number recognize that Stalin also was guilty of many atrocities. What Yale professor Timothy Snyder has now provided is a detailed recounting of the massive bloodletting in the lands between Germany and the Soviet Union before and during World War II.
Reading Archie Brown's massive history of the course of communism, one eventually wonders, "Just how did this wretched monster survive as long as it did?"