ABSTRACT

When historians configure Stalin’s personality they are at least talking about the same thing. There is someone to imagine, a man bounded by birth and death. Matters are otherwise when we shift our attention to Stalinism. What, after all, was it? At one extreme it could be envisaged as the totality of routines extant during and after Stalin’s tenure as General Secretary. Imagined thus Stalinism arches across virtually the entire Soviet experience, takes in much of the history of post-Second-World-War Eastern and Central Europe and, it might be argued, lingers on in regions once under Soviet domination.