Aug 10, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 45 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
A reader writes to ask about the photo we’ve been using in our subscription ads (see the back cover of this week’s edition, or last week’s, for that matter). Is it real, he wonders, or Photoshopped to show the three men together? “If it is an actual photo, it certainly is very interesting: three young men with impressive careers before them. All three were warmly dressed and their shoulders appear to touch one another. All three were staring directly toward the camera. . . . Stalin is almost smiling, the other two not quite so much.”
The photo in question—of Stalin, Lenin, and Kalinin—is real, and honestly cropped. No Stalinist air-brush manipulation in these pages! The Scrapbook reached out to our friend (and occasional contributor) Ken Jensen for a few more details on the larger original. “It was taken,” he told us, “at the 8th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) on March 18-23, 1919.” The three men in front of the Big Three “were non-entities, Smigla, Schmidt, and Zorin.” The men in the middle were the most important. “Soviet president Yakov Sverdlov had died on March 16, and Lenin appointed Mikhail Kalinin in his place on March 18.” The larger photo “contains a sort of random sampling of the 312 delegates at the Congress. Among them, only one lived until 1950 and another died of natural causes. The rest were eventually purged. (Not to worry: several of them were rehabilitated later.)”
The 8th Party Congress was held in the midst of the Russian Civil War, which, Ken added, “explains why Trotsky wasn’t in the picture. He was off fighting. The agenda focused on the war and doctrinal and economic matters. Lenin, apparently, was concerned about gaining the support of the ‘middle peasants.’ Also under discussion was the new Communist International.”
The International (“Comintern,” “Third International”) had been established shortly before, at the March 2-6 Congress, in which Trotsky did participate. “The principal topic of discussion,” Ken said, “was the difference between bourgeois democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Sometime after the Comintern Congress, Lenin, Trotsky, and Rakovsky turned the management of the new International over to Grigory Zinoviev. Stalin pushed Zinoviev out of the RCP leadership in 1925 and had him purged in 1936.”
Happily, these evil men are posthumously helping to sell subscriptions to this journal—a better deed than any of them ever did while alive.
9:09 AM, Mar 2, 2015 • By JOSEPH LOCONTE
Seventy years ago, on March 1, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt assured a war-weary nation that a new era of international peace and democratic government was at hand. The accords signed just weeks earlier at the Yalta Conference, he told Congress, laid the foundation for postwar cooperation between the Soviet Union and the democratic West.
Pete Seeger, 1919-2014. Feb 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 21 • By RONALD RADOSH
Pete Seeger’s death at the age of 94 has brought forth scores of celebratory tributes. America had long ago showered him with honors, which all but made up for the scorn with which he was once held in the age of the blacklist. Seeger received the National Medal of the Arts from President Bill Clinton and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1994, as well as multiple Grammys.
7:40 AM, Feb 28, 2013 • By REUBEN F. JOHNSON
Living in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine, one becomes highly sensitive to public figures who look away from genocidal, government-created famines. The Holodomor or “Extermination By Hunger” was a 1932-33 famine in Stalin-era Ukraine that cost the lives of as many as 7.5 million people. This act of genocide has been officially acknowledged only in the last decade—more than 7 decades later and 15 years after the Soviet state responsible for it ceased to exist.
How to get it, keep it, and take it away. Oct 1, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 03 • By DANIEL LEE
There’s been an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, a Rose Revolution in Georgia, and a Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia that helped launch last year’s Arab Spring. Is democracy sweeping the globe at last? Well—not yet, according to our author, a former editor at Foreign Policy who has been doing some globe-sweeping of his own (93,000 miles, give or take) over several years spent reporting for this volume.
Suspicion and betrayal and the Soviet way of life. Apr 23, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 30 • By JAMES C. BANKS
Soviet history has crystallized in Western memory as a conflict between apparatchiks and heroes. The apparatchiks were ideologically rigid autocrats and pandering toadies, while the heroes—such as Solzhenitsyn, Havel, and Sharansky—were the voices of humanity, reverberating until they eventually penetrated the Iron Curtain. Both sides, however, existed among a vast multitude of average human beings who had the opportunity to become saints and chose to remain sinners.
A definition of genocide that makes sense of history.Apr 4, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 28 • By AARON ROTHSTEIN
by Norman Naimark
What do Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Che Guevara, and Mullah Omar have in common?Aug 16, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 45 • By WALLER R. NEWELL
American labor unions and how they got that way.Apr 5, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 28 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Labor unions in the United States were not always tied to the Democratic party and to a leftist ideological agenda. Once upon a time, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) stood at odds with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO); the former resisted statist labor law changes and leftist union policies beginning in the 1930s and the latter supported them.
After 70 years a Pulitzer committee is reexamining Walter Duranty's Stalin whitewashes in the New York Times. How bad were they? See for yourself.1:40 PM, Jun 12, 2003 • By ARNOLD BEICHMAN
AT LONG LAST a Pulitzer Prize committee is looking into the possibility that the Pulitzer awarded to Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow correspondent whose dispatches covered up Stalin's infamies, might be revoked.
In order to assist in their researches, I am downloading here some of the lies contained in those dispatches, lies which the New York Times has never repudiated with the same splash as it accorded Jayson Blair's comparatively trivial lies:
"There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be."
‹‹ More Recent