This volume is the first major study by a Russian Marxist historian of the most tragic and fateful year in the history of the Soviet Union. Possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of Soviet source material, including archival documents that have only recently been released, Professor Vadim Rogovin presents a detailed and penetrating analysis of the causes, impact and consequences of Stalin’s purges. Rogovin demonstrates that the principal function and aim of the terror was the physical annihilation of the substantial socialist opposition to Stalin’s bureaucratic regime. Moreover, Rogovin places at the very center of this historical tragedy the crucial political figure whom most contemporary historians tend, for various ideological reasons, to ignore: Leon Trotsky. Rogovin insists that it is impossible to understand the purges apart from Stalin’s determination to stamp out all vestiges of Trotsky’s influence which, despite years of repression, had remained a powerful current with considerable support and revolutionary potential within the USSR.
Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin (1937-1998) was a Doctor of Philosophical Sciences and leading researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He is the author of 250 scholarly works, including eight monographs on problems of social policy, the history of social thought and the history of political movements in the former USSR. Before his untimely death in September 1998, Dr. Rogovin presented lectures all over the world about the socialist-based opposition to the Stalinist regime.