On January 23rd the Library & Archives were delighted to welcome Hoover senior fellow and Princeton historian Stephen Kotkin, who discussed his recent publication Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1920–1941, the second of a three-volume biography of Stalin, the first volume of which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. While researching for his trilogy, Kotkin has consulted numerous collection held at Hoover Archives, including the records of the KGB. In the introduction to his new volume, Kotkin stated: "I have . . . benefited tremendously from being a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, whose Library & Archives are a treasure beyond belief."
"I have . . . benefited tremendously from being a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, whose Library & Archives are a treasure beyond belief."
Kotkin delivered his talk as a keynote for the inaugural winter session of Hoover's Workshop on Authoritarianism and Democratic Breakdown. During his talk Kotkin discussed Stalin’s personality traits and their influence on his rise to power; Stalin’s implementation of the Five Year plan and the plan’s devastation of Soviet economics; and the oft-debated relationship between Hitler and Stalin and its influence on the Nazi-Soviet pact. During the question and answer period following the lecture, Kotkin discussed modern-day lessons related to nationalism and authoritarianism that can be drawn from the study of Stalin’s regime.