I received today ' Stalin ' by Oleg Khlevniuk, translated by Nora Seligman Favorov, published by Yale University Press,2015, ISBN9-780300-219784. Well printed though the front and back covers are too flexible and are already curling. 392 pages thick, I have flipped through it and it looks quite good as it is based on the archieves recently thrown open.
i very rarely spend money on books, but now i happened to visit a bookstore and bought these:
Muharrem Kesik: Anadolu Türk Beylikleri (Anatolian Turkish Principalities), 446 p.
I've just started it, nothing revolutionary, my first impression it is more of a popular historical work, it gives an overview of the hıstory of all the first and second period Anatolian Turkish principalities. but what is a big pro, it has an up to date (as of 2018) bibliography of the academic works about each principality if i want to dig more deeply into the subject.
Various authors: Osmanlı Edebi Metinlerini Anlama Kılavuzu (Guide for understanding the Ottoman literary texts), 656 p. I haven't started it yet, it includes essays on various subjects from diff researchers, i hope it will help me understand Ottoman poetry better
Not sure how reliable Kershaw is as a historian. At least as a military historian I am very skeptical. His account of the events in Nemesis about Stalingrad aren't even true. I have no idea what sources he used but he is making false assertions, specifically about the attempted airlift. His statements about Operation Typhoon are also very problematic.
Some time ago, I had purchased ' India The Siege Within ' by M.J.Akbar, a renowned Indian journalist. The book is subtitled ' Challenges to a nation's unity '. It is published by Roli Books, first published in 2003 and I am reading the eighth impression. The ISBN is 978-81-7436-268-1.
It is 423 pages thick, nicely produced, and has three main parts, namely i ) The birth of Pakistan and survival of India ii ) Punjab iii ) Kashmir.
We are now in August 2018 and the problems of the Sikh demand for Khalistan are no longer there at all. Yet the history of the militancy among the Sikhs ending, to an extent, with operation Blue Star and the death of the besieged fanatic Sikh leader Bhindranwale, are worth reading and certainly for persons unfamiliar with the Sikh unrest.
The book is written in a crisp style and is recommended to all those who are interested in modern Indian history.
In my post no.854 above, I had reported that I had received ' Stalin ' by Oleg Khlevniuk.
Some information I did not know is there in the book. For example, I did not know that after Stalin's death, the Government took some radical steps to reform the governance of the country.
For example, it is stated that the two pillars of the dictatorship---State Security and the Gulag were reformed. On 4th April 1953, an order was issued banning the use of torture against arrestees. Torture chambers in prisons were closed and the implements of torture were destroyed. A mass amnesty was announced for those convicted of non-political crimes reducing the prison population by half.
Significant changes were made in the Economic policies, too. Unwieldy construction projects were scaled down. The rush to ' build Communism ' and to expand Soviet military capabilities putting a strain on the economy was brought to a halt. The prices of agricultural products were raised and the tax burden on the peasants reduced. A massive effort to increase housing was taken up.
Glasnost and Perestroika in the 1950s? And then what went wrong thereafter is what puzzles me. After all the hard Brezhnev era was far off.