Staunton, Dec. 5 – Those who admire Stalin and say they would like to restore rule like his often insist that there was no corruption or a shadow economy under the Soviet dictator because he was personally ascetic and used his powers to prevent people from engaging in such economic crimes.
But that image while superficially plausible does not correspond to reality. In fact, corruption and a shadow economy were widespread features of Stalin’s regime, as a powerful new book by Moscow State University historian Oleg Khlevnyuk documents in detail (polit.ru/article/2022/12/04/ps_khlevniuk/).
The just released volume is entitled, The Corporation of Imposters. The Shadow Economy and Corruption in Stalin’s USSR (in Russia; Moscow: NLO, 2023, 320 pp., ISBN 978-5-4448-1881-7). The Polit.ru portal has published an excerpt which gives a sense of what the book is about and how well it is sourced.