Bruce Franklin’s Introduction to “The Essential Stalin”

This is a collection of scanned images of Bruce Franklin‘s introduction to The Essential Stalin: Major Theoretical Writings, 1905-1952, published by Anchor Books, New York, in 1972. This introduction by Professor Franklin was the first defence of Stalin I read. I am mirroring it from the website at because to my knowledge this is the only digital version of this long out of print text availible.

As Professor Franklin says,

“Any historical figure must be evaluated from the interests of one class or another. Take J. Edgar Hoover, for example. Anti-communists may disagree about his performance, but they start from the assumption that the better he did his job of perserving ‘law and order’ as defined by our present rulers, the better he was. We Communists, on the other hand, certainly would not think Hoover ‘better’ if he had been more efficient in running the secret police and protecting capitalism. And so the opposite with Stalin, whose job was not to preserve capitalism but to destroy it, not to suppress communism but to advance it. The better he did his job, the worse he is likely to seem to all those who profit from this economic system and the more he will be appreciated by the victims of that system.”

3 responses to “Bruce Franklin’s Introduction to “The Essential Stalin”

  1. I own this book and have just made a brand new scan that’s much easier to read than this old one. You can read it at the Red Star Library:

  2. One of my all-time favorite books. I wore out my first copy because I kept it with me wherever I went and read it all the time!

    It’s available on the web, Amazon, for example, but this mass market paperback now runs about USD 30. :( It’s a classic and it would be great if Anchor ran another printing of it.

    P.S. thanks for the amazing website. :)

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