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HSE Professor’s Biography on Stalin Wins PROSE Award

The book Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator by Oleg Khlevniuk has won the 2016 PROSE Award in the Biography and Autobiography category. Khlevniuk is a Leading Research Fellow in the HSE International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences.

The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in 54 categories.

According to Khlevniuk, Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator is the result of his long study on the history of the Soviet Union in the 1920s-1950s. ‘I spent five years writing this biography on Stalin, though the road to the book was considerably longer,’ Khlevniuk noted in an interview with the HSE News Service. ‘My academic interests concern state organizations: economic policy in the Stalin years, repressive mechanisms, terror, the activities of the regional elite and networks of the 1920s-1960s, etc. But I’ve always been interested in the question of how a dictator’s predilections and actions impacted all of these processes. This is why when I was offered to write a biography on Stalin, I decided to use the opportunity to take a closer look at this topic.’

In his work, the author relies exclusively on trusted sources, including numerous archives ranging from speech transcripts and works by Stalin himself all the way to his letters with members of the Politburo and registries of the individuals who visited the leader’s office in the Kremlin.

In October 2015, Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator was also awarded the 2015 Prosvetitel [Enlightener] Prize for Biography.


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