Ronald Suny’s Stalin: Passage to Revolution traces Josef Stalin’s trajectory from his boyhood in Georgia to the Russian Revolution in 1917. In an interview, Suny explains the specificities of the Georgian socialist movement, Stalin’s role in the revolution, and why Stalinism was “bloody, ruthless,” and “the nadir of the Soviet experiment.”
Ronald Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago, and Senior Researcher at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He is the author of The Baku Commune, 1917-1918: Class and Nationality in the Russian Revolution (Princeton University Press, 1972), among many other works.
The story of the Baku Commune’s leaders, who pursued power democratically and nonviolently, belies many of the myths of the Russian Revolution.