Stalin is widely considered one of the most destructive and evil rulers of modern times. How does one write objectively about someone who was responsible for the deaths of millions? How does one deal with the moral repugnance one feels? Is it up to the historian to pass moral judgment? Does pointing out that many of the stories about him are untrue or exaggerated constitute condoning what he did? What role is there for comparing his actions with those of others? These are some of the dilemmas faced by the biographer of an extreme character like Stalin.
The talk by Professor Chris Read will address these questions as well as the general problems of writing biography and will discuss Stalin’s importance to modern history, including our own.
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