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Books, Journals, New Media
October 13, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(14):1754-1760. doi:10.1001/jama.292.14.1755

This book was one tough read. For one thing, a harrowing tale is recounted, which exposes the fruits of one more of Stalin’s evil machinations against his own citizens—in this case the Jews of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). For some reason, in contrast to the popular view of Hitler, the Russian dictator has come off in the minds of many as some kind of hero, albeit terribly flawed. After all, World War II was won not just by the Battle of Britain or on the shores of Normandy but in large part owing to the holding actions of the Red Army on the Eastern front. Perhaps some still hold a residuum of gratitude toward “The Great Helmsman” for his leadership (however incompetent) during this conflict. And unlike that which pertains to Hitler in today’s Germany, in contemporary Russia one can still see pictures of Stalin proudly held aloft during demonstrations.

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