January 6, 2020

Stalin, Waiting for ......The Truth - Grover Furr

 If the writers of the letter were interested, not in “personalities”, but in the history of the organisational and ideological relations among the Marxists, they would know that as far back as May 1909 a delegate meeting of Bolsheviks, after a long and detailed preliminary discussion, rejected all responsibility for A. Bogdanov’s literary-political utterances. If the writers of the letter attached less importance to philistine scandal and gossip and paid more attention to the ideological struggle among the Marxists, they would know that in his books A. Bogdanov has built up a definite social and philosophical system and that all Marxists, irrespective of group allegiance, have expressed their opposition to this system as being non-Marxist and anti-Marxist.
Lenin, Concerning A. Bogdanov
In a revolutionary epoch like the present, all theoretical errors and tactical deviations of the Party are most ruthlessly criticised by experience itself, which enlightens and educates the working class with unprecedented rapidity. At such a time, the duty of every Social-Democrat is to strive to ensure that the ideological struggle within the Party on questions of theory and tactics is conducted as openly, widely and freely as possible, but that on no account does it disturb or hamper the unity of revolutionary action of the Social-Democratic proletariat.
Lenin , An Appeal to the Party by Delegates to the Unity Congress Who Belonged to the Former “Bolshevik” Group
***

Below is the  Excerpts from the book taken for the purpose of a summary translation to Turkish.

Introduction 

(..)

This book deals with all the alleged crimes and atrocities that Kotkin charges Stalin with. It includes all the passages where Kotkin alleges any kind of reprehensible behavior or even insensitivity on Stalin's part.

The "'Klim - There were no mistakes .. ." story is an example of something we will see a great many times in this book: Kotkin cannot be trusted to use his sources accurately or honestly. When Kotkin makes an assertion of fact, or fact-claim, about some crime or misdeed involving Stalin, the sources for this fact-claim must be double-checked.

Upon checking Kotkin's source we normally find either

( l) that his source does not support what Kotkin's text says or implies that it does; or

(2) that the source does reflect what Kotkin says in his text but that source itself is dishonest, in that

(a) it does not reflect what its own evidence states or

(b) its source is yet another secondary source which when it is examined in turn, does not support the
fact-claims given; or

( c) it cites no evidence at all

Devoid of Integrity

This book presents a detailed. heavily documented critique of Stali11, val. Two. In it I document my conclusion: Every one of the charges of crimes or atrocities alleged by Kotkin against Stalin is false. I demonstrate this by checking the evidence Kotkin cites; by including where appropriate the evidence which Kotkin's sources cite; and by citing other evidence that he omits.

Here is an important parigraph from the document "Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct (updated 2018)," by the American Historical Association.
Historians should practice their craft with integrity.
They should honor the historical record. They should document their sources. They should acknowledge their debts to the work of other scholars. They should respect and welcome divergent points of view even as they argue and subject those views to critical scrutiny.
They should  remember that our collective enterprise depends on mutual trust. And they should never betray trust.
It is the professional responsibility of historians to acknowledge disputes and disagreements in the fields they research. But Kotkin never informs his readers about the scholarly disputes that exist over many of these issues, whether it be the famine (except in the footnotes only), the Ezhovshchino or "Great Terror." the Katyn massacre, the Moscow Trials, the Tukhachevsky Affai r, the Spanish Civil War, or others. Every time, Kotkin repeats an anti-Stalin position without any qualification.

It is an historian's responsibility to document her sources. Kotkin routinely violates this tenet of the historian's craft A great many of his footnotes - the form his documentation of sources normally takes - are phony. They appear to be the evidence of careful re·search. But, as I prove in this book in sometimes painstaking detail, they do not give evidence for Kotkin's fact-claims about the crimes he attributes to Stalin.

It is not only that many statements in Kotkin's book are factually false. These false statements do not occur randomly. There is a systematic quality to all of these falsehoods: every one is tendentiously anticommunist. I realized that I would have to carefully check, one by one, every factual statement about the Soviet leadership or Soviet actions that had a negative tendency, every allegation of a crime or an atrocity.

My working hypothesis was as follows: I would find that many of Kotkin's anti-Stalin or anti-Soviet assertions or "fact-claims" were false, not supported by the evidence Kolkin cites or indeed by any
evidence. My further hypothesis was that the secondary sources Kotkin cites in support of these statement would either not sup-16 port Kotkin's fact-claims, or would themselves be fallacious, unsupported by the evidence (if any) that they cited.

My research has fully corroborated both of these hypotheses. In fact, I discovered that my initial hypothesis was too cautious. I have found not that many, but that all of Kotkin's fact-claims of an anti-Stalin tendency are false. In this book I present the results of that research.

Organization of This Book

The chapters in this book adhere to the following method of presentation. After an introductory section, I quote every passage in which Kotkin makes a fact-claim that accuses Stalin of some crime or that tends to reflect negatively upon Stalin. Then the evidence Kotkin cites to support his.statement(s), normally found in a footnote, is identified and, where possible, reproduced. Then each of the sources in that footnote, whether primary or secondary, is checked and verified in order to assess whether that source provides support for Kotkin's fact-claim.

In the case of secondary sources I have checked further for the primary sources that these secondary sources use. This is essential because the fact that one historian agrees with another does not constitute evidence. Only primary sources are evidence.

In each instance where Kotkin cites another secondary source in a footnote I have obtained and studied the primary source evidence upon which that secondary source relies. This procedure continues until we reach the primary sources upon which all the other secondary sources are based, or until we discover that, in reality, there is no primary source evidence supporting the series or fact claims, which are thereby revealed to be falsifications. This method is essential in order to verify Kotkin's fact-claims concerning Stalin's "crimes· - or, as it turns out, in order to demonstrate that they are, without exception, false.

Whenever possible I have given a summary title or subheading to each of the passages from Kotkin's book. The purpose of this sub-heading is to aid the reader in deciding whether he or she wants to examine these fact-claims, or wishes to pick and choose, examining some and passing over others.

At the time of this writing (January, 2019) no one else has taken the trouble to do this. This would not be a bad thing if Kotkin's book were generally ignored. Historians of the USSR, like historians generally, should spend their time doing honest research and discovering the truth, rather than double-checking every fact claim and allegation made by other historians. But Kotkin's book is very influential, as are his published articles in semi-popular journals and the Youtube videos of his talks.

Kotkin's fact-claims about crimes of Stalin are normally assumed to be true, while the reality is that they are always false. Through books such as Stalin, vol. Two falsehoods become accepted as truths, the current of historical understanding polluted.

The Anti-Stalin Paradigm

In the present book I demonstrate, using Kotkin's own sources and other evidence, that not a single one of the accusations that Kotkin levels against Stalin is true. Such a conclusion demands explanation, and l outline my own views in the final chapter. One important element of that explanation is what I call the "Anti-Stalin Paradigm." (ASP) about which a little should be said here.

Khrushchev Lied

In February, 1956, at the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Party and leader of the Soviet State, gave a "secret speech" in which he ace.used Stalin (and Lavrenti Beria) of great crimes. At the XXll Party Congress in 1961 Khrushchev and other Party leaders under him went even further In their attacks on Stalin. After that and until Khrushchev's ouster in October 1964 a flood of pseudo scholarly Soviet works were published in which accusations about Stalin's "crimes" multiplied wildly.

Since the Bolshevik Revolution itself the academic field of Soviet history has been dominated by anticommunist bias. Khrushchev's 1956 "Secret Speech," the anti-Stalin speeches at the XXII Party Congress and the ensuing torrent of Khrushchev-orchestrated fabrications, became the basis for the avalanche of anti-Stalin books that followed. Notable among them was, for example, Robert Conquest's tome The Great Terror, which drew heavily upon these Khrushchev-era materials (although Conquest also used. indiscriminately, any and all anti-Stalin works he could find, including many that preceded Khrushchev's speech).

In an earlier article Vladimir L. Bobrov and I examined the last chapter of Stephen F. Cohen's book Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution (1973), one of the most influential anti-Stalin books based on Khrushchev-era materials. There we showed (a) that Cohen relied entirely upon Khrushchev-era "revelations" in this chapter on Bukharin's life between 1930 and 1938; and (b) that every single "revelation" Cohen makes in that long chapter is demonstrably false.

Gorbachev Lied Too

The Khnishchev-era Soviet works were not simply the result of bias. Rather, they were deliberate lies.5 Khrushchev and h.is men had all the evidence of the Soviet archives - everything we have today plus much, much more. The same is true of Mikhail Gorbachev's people, who churned out an even bigger avalanche of anti-Stalin falsehoods after 1987, an avalanche that continues to the present day.

The academic field of Soviet history of the Stalin period has been constructed around the more or less uncritical acceptance of, first; Khrushchev-era, and second, of Gorbachev-era .and post-Soviet-era lies. These lies cannot be-sustained in the face of the evidence now available from former Soviet archives. However, to admit this would imply that the works of dozens of historians of the USSR, during several generations, are poisoned at the root - as, indeed, they are.

Therefore the" Anti-Stalin Paradigm," as I call this model of Stalin era Soviet history, goes unchallenged. As long as it continues to serve anticommunist ideological purposes, and as long as the truth can be ignored, buried,, hidden, or otherwise disregarded, the demonization of Stalin, the Soviet leadership Of his day, and the communist movement continues. to perform its useful function in the economy of anticommunist propaganda, propped up by the prestige of academic experts in many countries. This is the tradition that has produced works like Kotkin's Stalin, vol Two.

The authors of such books do not have to fear that their falsehoods will be exposed by their peers in the field of Soviet history, because anti-Stalin lies are very seldom exposed as such. In such an atmosphere, where the historian can accuse Stalin and the USSR of almost any crime, can say virtually anything as long as it has an anti-Stalin bias, a kind of "Gresham's Law" comes into play. 

Bad research drives out the good or - at the very least - makes the honest researcher very cautious, very careful not to challenge the prevailing paradigm. This is the academic and political environment that makes fraudulent works like Stalin, vol. Two possible.

Concerning the portrayal of Stalin by anticommunist historians like Kotkin Professor Domenico Losurdo of the University of Urbino, Italy, 'writes:
In their discussions philosophers like to evoke not only historcal events but also the categories with which thety interpret these events. Today, what is the category with which Stalin is interpreted? That of blood thirsty madness. This category has already been used against Robespierre, against the revolution of 1848, against the Paris Commune, but never against the war, or against Louis XVI, or against Girondins or Napoleon. Regarding the twentieth century, we have psycho-pathological studies of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Mao, but not for example, of Churchill. However all the Bolshevik leaders spoke up against colonial expansionism, while Churchill wrote: "War is a game at which one should smile." Then there was the carnage of the first World War. The Bolshevik leadership group, including Stalin, was against this carnage. but Churchill said again:
"War is the greatest game in world history, here I play with the highest stakes, war is the sole acute sensation of our lives." So why the psycho-pathological approach in the one case and not in the other?
Khrushchev, Gorbachev, and Phony History

All historians of the Soviet Union know that Khrushchev and the "historians" whose works he sponsored, and Gorbachev and the "historians" he sponsored, were lying. If they do not know that, they are utterly incompetent to do Soviet history. The documents from former Soviet archives that have been published since the end of the USSR permit no other conclusion.

In the case of Khrushchev's and Gorbachev's men the word "lie" is completely justified - in fact, is essential - because these people had all the evidence: everything we now have that has been published from former Soviet archives, plus much, much more.

It is hard indeed to imagine that Kotkin is ignorant of these basic facts. But he never tells his readers about this. Of course, if he did so he would nor be able to use dishonest Krushchev- and Gorbachev- era secondary sources as his "evidence.·

Fabrications, Falsifications, and Lies 

It will shock many readers to learn that a major work by a prominent historian can be, at base, a chain of untruths, its scholarly trappings a demonstrable fraud, a trap intended to lure the unwary or the hopelessly biased into believing falsehoods. Rightly so - we should be shocked and outraged by this kind of historical fraudulence. Yet Stalin, vol. Two is precisely such a book. That is the inevitable conclusion of my study .

It will appear to readers that many of Kotkin's fact-claims are almost certainly "lies" in the strict sense. That is, they must have been made with conscious decision to deceive rather than as the expression of bias coupled with ignorance. At the same time many readers will assume that the word "lie" should only be used when deliberate dishonesty by a writer can be clearly demonstrated.

For this reason I am reluctant to have recourse to the word "lie." In all cases where deliberate intent to deceive cannot be clearly demonstrated by the evidence I use another term such as "fabrication" or "falsification" that connotes something made up, not contained in any of the evidence cited. As I have written elsewhere,
(I)t is easy to underestimate the power of a well established, privilege.cl preconceived framework of analysis on the minds of any researcher who is himself seriously biased. The pressures, both psychological and academic, to reach a conclusion acceptable to leading figures in the field of Soviet history, as well as to officials in Russia who control access to archives, arc considerable indeed. Consequently, the disadvantages, professionally and otherwise, of reaching a conclusion that, no matter how well demonstrated, will be displeasing lo powerful forces in the archival, political. and academic communities, are clear to anyone who is familiar with the highly politicized nature of the field of Soviet and indeed of all of communist history. (Furr. Kirov 7)
Accordingly I consider the word "lie" to be appropriate only when the evidence clearly shows that Kotkin has made a statement in flagrant disregard for the truth, such as a statement that is not supported in the source Kotkin cites in support of it or is even contradicted by that source. Yet even in such cases we should. not rule out the power of a preconceived framework plus a strong bias to "blind" a non-objective historian like Kotkin to evidence and conclusions that are incompatible with the ASP.

Objectivity and the Truth

It is a commonplace today that Stalin committed mass murders and gross atrocities. This belief is like the notions, almost universal before the 20th century (and by no means dead even today) that women and non-whites are "intellectually inferior." Those notions were "common sense: taken for granted by almost every "white" male of European ancestry. including scientists. They were questioned by few, firmly r ejected by fewer still. Yet they were never true. They were (and are) avidly promoted because they served (and, in some circles, still serve) definite political and economic interests.

An objective study of the evidence now available shows that, contrary to "what everybody knows" - what 1 call "the Anti-Stalin Paradigm" - none of the mass murders, atrocities, and other crimes alleged against Stalin can be verified by the evidence. Not one of them! On the contrary: the evidence now available proves that Stalin was not guilty of even a single one of the crimes Kotkin is eager ta arraign him for.

Because this conclusion will shock many readers, the evidence supporting it must be more fully expounded than is normally the case in historical studies. After all, a major conclusion of this book is that, on any important matter, the fact-claims even of renowned historians should never be s imply "believed" - accepted as true.

Instead they roust be verified. Why, then should any reader accept the fact-claims in this book - namely, that some statement in Stalin, vol. Two is false - when the same book cautions them not to believe Kotkin?

Accordingly, the footnotes, references, and - where necessary -the primary documents essential for any reader to check my conclusions, are reproduced here. This adds to the length of this study. But there is no other way to document such a travesty of historical scholarship as Stalin, vol two presents us with.

The aim of the present study is to examine the allegations by Kotkin against Stalin. Although at many points Stalin, vol. Two reads something like a "prosecutor's brief' against Stalin and the USSR, the present study is fundamentally different. My book is not a "defense attorney's brief." It is not an attempt to prove either guilt or innocence. Rather, it is an attempt to find the truth.

I have tried hard to do what an investigator does in the case of a crime in which he has no bias, no parti pris, but only wishes to solve the crime. This is what all historians are supposed to do, and what most historians who investigate the more distant past do all the time. I wish to persuade the fair-minded, objective reader that I have carried out a competent, honest investigation. Namely, that I have done the following:

* collected all the evidence that Kotkin has cited to prove his allegations against Stalin, and also any "negative" evidence that contests those allegations:

* studied all this evidence carefully and honestly;
* drawn my conclusions on the basis of that evidence.

Political prejudice predominates in the study of communism and in particular of Soviet history. Conclusions that contradict the dominant Anti·Stalin Paradigm are routinely ignored or dismissed.

Conclusions that cast doubt upon accusations against Stalin or whose implications tend to make him look either "good" or just less "evil" than the predominant paradigm holds him to have been, are called "Stalinist." Any objective study of the evidence now available is bound to be called "Stalinist" simply because it must reach conclusions that are politically unacceptable to those who have a strong anticommunist bias, those who are in thrall to the false "Anti-Stalin Paradigm."

I wish to persuade the objective reader that I have reached my conclusions on the basis of evidence and its analysis and not on any other basis such as political bias. My aim Is neither to arraign or "convict" Kotkin nor to "defend" Stalin. I assure the reader that I remain ready to be convinced that Stalin et al. did commit the atrocities alleged by Kotkin if and when evidence is disclosed that supports that conclusion and the evidence can withstand the scholarly scrutiny to which all evidence should be subject.

(..)

"Propaganda With Footnotes"
I have taught American history for 27 years.at a university, and I open every class with a standard lecture that focuses on the three kinds of history: what actually happened, what we are told happened and what we come to believe happened. This is important because we live in a world in which what people believe happened is all that matters, and trying to get to the facts sadly appears less relevant.
- Professor Stephen D. Engle, historian, Florida International University
Scholarship is the attempt to ascertain the truth. Arguments that proceed not from an objective search for truth but from some other motive, such as an attempt to attack or defend some specific allegation or historical paradigm, may fairly be labeled "propaganda."

When accompanied by the trappings of scholarship references, bibliography, fraudulent assurances of objectivity such writing in reality constitutes not scholarship but "propaganda with footnotes." It is the conclusion of the present study that Stalin, vol. Two is precisely such a work.

Method of Presentation

The present book takes upon itself the task of examining and checking every statement i.n Stalin, vol. Two that has an anti-Stalin tendency, and reporting the results of this research of verification. It presents for the reader's consideration the proof that every fact-claim of an anti-Stalin tendency in Kotkin's book is false.

Most people rely upon the statements by supposedly "authoritative" figures such as Kotkin. They trust that scholars from respected institutions of learning, with renowned academic reputations, do not falsify important historical events. It is this trust that enables false scholarship to shape opinion on important historical questions.

It is no exaggeration to state that, as concerns Stalin and therefore, for the most part, Soviet history of the 1930s, Kotkin's Stalin, vol.Two is a work of falsification from beginning to end. l have established that this is so through an exhaustive process of checking every footnote, every reference that Kotkin cites in support of any fact-claim or statement of an anti-Stalin tendency.

The "Big Lie" Technique

A normal practice for those who intend to deceive others is 10 mainly tell the truth, and smuggle in the falsehoods intermingled among the true statements. But on the historical issues studied and analyzed in the present book Kotkin employs a different method: that of "The Big Lie." Though it is ostensibly not a work of propaganda Kotkin's book follows the technique of propaganda recommended by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, such as the following:
The function of propaganda is, for example not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.
The "Big Lie" was not original with Hitler. He learned of it by studying the anti-German propaganda put out by the Western Allies during the First World War. After that war a number of books were written. often by shocked and deceived journalists, exposing these Allied falsifications. Thus there was no need for Kotkin to learn the "Big Lie" technique from Hitler. That Kotkin does utilize this technique is beyond question. The present book establishes this fact by carefully checking every one of the references Kotkin uses to support his anti-Stalin fact-claims.

Kotkin makes no attempt at objectivity. Indeed, his anti-Stalin hostility at times boils over in passages of heated rhetoric, fervent moralizing, and moral condemnation that serve no analytical purpose .. Yet objectivity is first among the requirements of any historian worthy of the name. If one does not strive for objectivity from the outset of one's study one will never discover the truth.. The truth was never Kotkin's goal in the first place.

Hitler also succinctly explained why tile "Big Lie" technique is so effective:
In this they (skilled liars - GF) proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in tile very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big. Such a falsehood will never enter their heads and they will not be able to believe in the possibility of such monstrrous effrontery and infamous representation of others; yes, even when enlightened on the subject, they will long doubt and waver, and continue to accept at least one of these causes as true. Therefore, something of even the most insolent lie will always remain and stick - a fact which all the great lie-virtousi and lying-clubs in this world know only too well and also make the most treacherous use of"
A full professor of history at Princeton University, publishing with a major American commercial publisher, can rely on "credibility" - the only coin in the propagandist's purse. The present study shows this coin to be counterfeit.

(...)

From Chapter 4. Trotsky and the Block

All the evidence available to me and which I study in these books is available to all researchers. But Kotkin either ignores it - bias by omission - or, as we shall see, falsifies it. To do otherwise - to rec­ognize that Trotsky lied, and did indeed collaborate with the Axis - utterly dismantles the Anti-Stalin Paradigm of Soviet history that Kotkin bends all his efforts to uphold .

* * * * *
In the First Moscow Trial of August, 1936, Trotsky was accused of forming a "bloc of Rights and Trotskyites." By "bloc" was meant a political alliance for concerted action between clandestine opposition groups operating illegally within the Soviet Union.The aim of the bloc was the overthrow of the Stalin leadership.

Trotsky always denied that any such bloc existed or that he would have ever considered forming such a bloc with what he called "capitulators" - those who had publicly renounced their support of the Trotskyist opposition and promised future support for the Bolshevik Party line. Since Khrushchev's day the existence of this bloc has been denied by the Soviet, then the Russian, governments, and by all scholars of Soviet history whether Soviet, Russian, Western anticommunist, or Trotskyist.

In January, 1980, the Trotsky Archive at Harvard University was opened to researchers. Almost immediately a research team directed by Pierre Broue, in his day the foremost Trotskyist histori­an in the world, discovered that a bloc of Rights, Trotskyists, and other oppositionists, had indeed existed and that Trotsky had approved it.

Shortly thereafter, American scholar Arch Getty discovered other documents in the Harvard Trotsky Archive that proved that Trot­sky wrote to former oppositionists - "capitulators" -- in 1932, un­doubtedly to urge them to return to opposition. Trotsky swore that he had not contacted them and would never do so. Again, Trotsky lied. Throughout the '80s and '90s Broue went on to discover other lies by Trotsky.

Kotkin cites Brow 's research. He must also know Getty's 1985 article on the Trotsky Archives, which was published in Soviet Stud­ies the foremost vehicle in the world for research in Soviet history. But Kotkin does not inform his readers what this research proves -that during the 1930s Trotsky lied consistently about his activities. Trotsky lied in his Bulletin of the Opposition; in all his articles and books; in his supposed "refutation" of the 1936 Moscow Trial, The Red Book. Trotsky lied to the 1937 Dewey Commission, and the Commission members believed him.2 Kotkin conceals all this from his readers. 

(...)

Kotkin Overlooks Evidence That Kamenev Was guilty

Kotkin has also omitted an important section from this same letter Kaganovich:
... Second. From Reingol'd's confessions it is clear that Kamenev, through his wife Glebova, was  feeling out the French ambassador Al'fand concerning possible relations of the French government with / a future "government" of the Trotskyite-Zinov'evite bloc. ...
Obviously, Glebova is well informed about all this sor­ did material. We must bring Glebova to Moscow and submit her to a series of meticulous interrogations.
She might reveal many interesting things.
This passage is strong evidence that Stalin did not know in advance what Reingol'd was going to confess at the trial and was drawing conclusions based on those confessions at the time. In other words, Stalin was trying to figure out what was really going on. Once again, that means that Stalin had not stage-managed Kamenev's confession.

(..)

Why not Some New Falsehoods?

Has Kotkin actually researched this topic himself? If he has, why does he repeats old falsehoods, mainly from Cold War-era anti­-communist research? The primary sources available today, many available for decades, prove that Kotkin's claims of nefarious ac­tions by the Soviets in Spain are false down to the last one.

Kotkin relates how Andreu Ni n, formerly a secretary (political aide +) of Trotsky's, became a leader of the POUM (Workers Party of Marxist Unification) in Spain, publicly broke with Trotsky and Trotsky, also publicly, with him, and that Trotsky's position was that there should be a "full-bore anti-capitalist revolution" in Spain. This latter position meant opposition to the Spanish Republic, a bourgeois- democratic regime, and with Soviet policy, which was to support such governments in order to gain as large a united front against fascism as possible.1
In Stalin's worldview, Nin 's hoary link to Trotsky alone rendered the POUM "Trotskyite." (345)
As we saw in Chapter Four, we have good reason to think that Nin's and Trotsky's supposed "break" -scare quotes deliberate here - was a cover for continued collaboration just as Radek, Pi­atakov, and many other Trotskyists admitted. The Soviets certainly must have assumed that. Given the materials that he claims he has read, Kotkin must know it too.
There was also the POUM's independence, criticizing the Stalinist line while claiming the mantle of Marx­ism. Some members of the POUM, moreover, openly admired Trotsky, and some of its officials discussed inviting him to take up residence in Barcelona. Sometimes fabricated nightmares have a way of coming true. (345)
Here Kotkin wants it both ways. On the one hand, Kotkin insists that the POUM was not really Trotskyist. This is evidently what he means by Stalin's "fabricated nightmare" and by ignoring Nin's, Erwin Wolf s, and Landau's ties to Trotsky. But on the other hand Kotkin concedes that POUM acted like a Trotskyist party would be expected to act.

Kotkin:
Throughout Europe, significant doubts reverberated among leftist intellectuals about the alleged treason of the executed Bolshevik revolutionaries,  but in Repub­lic Spain, the POUM's La Batalla was almost the on­ly newspaper to detail, let alone condemn, the Moscow showcase trial, labeling the Soviet Union a ''bureaucratic regime of poisonous dictatorship." Tit for tat, the lead editorial in the September 1936 is­ sue of The Communist International, issued in multiple European languages, condemned the POUM as fascist agents masquerading as leftists, with ties to Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Franco, Mussolini, Hitler.(343- 344)
(..)

Did Stalin "Tutor" Yezhov?

Kotkin:
In the Little Corner, the despot tutored Yezhov on por­traying a conspiracy with a shadow government, ready to take over: Yagoda as head of the Council of People's Commissars, Tukhachevsky as defense com­ missa r, Bukharin as general secretary of the party ...(397) [next note is 123]

Note 123: Khaustov, "Razvitie sovetskikh organov gosu­ darstvennoi bezopasnosti," 362 (citing TsA FSB, f. 3, op. 45,d. 29, 1. 246). Peterson would be shot on Aug. 21, 1937.
This is a phony footnote. There is nothing in Khaustov whatever about Stalin "tutoring" Yezhov. Evidently Kotkin invented this.

(...)

A world Record? Same Sources Cited 3x In One Footnote

(..)
The complete text of Iakir's letter has now been declassified. I re­print a translation below so that the reader can see the section that Kotkin is concealing, in boldface.
"Dear, close comrade Stalin. I dare address you in this manner because I have said everything, given everything up, and it seems to me that I am a noble warrior, devoted to the Party, the state and the people, as I was for many years. My whole conscious life has been passed in selfless, honest work in the sight of the Party and of its leaders - then the fall into the nightmare, into the irreparable horror of betrayal. And during that short period of my life there were always within me two persons: one who had worked much and honestly for the army, the soviets, the party, and another, who thought up and was preparing vile acts hostile to the country. The investigation is completed. I have been formally accused of treason to the state, I have admitted my guilt, I have fully repented. I have unlimited faith in the justice and propriety of the decision of the court and the state. The investigation has been completed. have been accused of treason to the state; I have admitted my guilt, I have fully repented. I have unlimited faith in the justice and appropriateness of the court and the government. I know that there can and must be only one sentence - death. I am prepared for this sentence. Nevertheless I appeal to you and to the government and beg you, beg you to believe in the possibility of my correction, to believe that I can still be of use to the state, to which I dedicate my whole being. Perhaps you will consider and decide to allow me to go somewhere in the far North or east, in Kolyma, to work and on rare occasions to learn about the magnificent Land of Soviets, mine again. (..)
I beg you and I understand that I do not have any right to do so.  
(..)

Another Series Of Falsehoods 

Kotkin:
Stalin's war preparations also bore the mark of his ex­ecutions of thousands of loyal officers, especially top commanders like Vasily Blyukher, whose eye had been deposited in his hand before he died under tor­ture, and the gifted Mikhail Tukhachevsky, whose blood had been splattered all over his "confession " to being a German agent just before Stalin signed the Pact.40 (893)
Note 40 (1068): Stepanov, "O masshtabakh repressii."
This footnote is a fraud. No specific pages, or even the number of the issue, are cited. Do you wonder why? And this is a four-part article in Voenno-Jstoricheskii Zhurnal, 1993, Nos 1, 2, 3 and 5. What's more, the article in issue 1 is not by Stepanov, but by A. T. Ukolov and V.I. Ivkin.

But in his bibliography Kotkin lists them all as by Stepanov. And those that are by Stepanov, Nos. 2, 3, and 5, are simply yet another publication of the "Spravka" of the Shvernik Commission, which Kotkin has cited elsewhere, in at least five other different editions! Why cite the same document here again in yet another separate publication? To create the appearance of thorough scholarship?

The "Spravka" says that Bliukher died "in custody," not "under tor­ture." As for Bliukher's eye, the "Spravka" just states: "oKono rna3a 6bIJI orpoMHhIH CH H...s1K" - "near his eye was a huge bruise." Where does the "whose eye had been deposited in his hand" come from? Not from the sources Kotkin cites. Did Kotkin dream up this maca­bre bit of gory detail himself in order to make Stalin, et al. "look bad"?

(..)

Kotkin Omits Yakov Yakovlev 's Confession

Yakov Yakovlev had been Commissar of Agriculture, and then played a very important role in drafting the 1936 Constitution, during which time he worked very closely with Stalin. Upon seeing the subhead above readers of Kotkin's book may turn to their copy and look for Yakovlev's confession in the index. It's not there. Kotkin never breaths a word about it.

Yet this document is one of the most important documents in the Lubianka 1937-1938 volume that Kotkin cites so often. In it Ya­kovlev not only confesses to being a member of the clandestine bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. Yakovlev also confesses to having been a Trotskyist "sleeper" in the Party, appointed by Trotsky in 1923 to drop all ties to Trotskyists and "bore from within." Yakovlev also confesses to having been recruited by German intelligence because - as the German agent told him - the Germans were already working with Trotsky, and demanded to work with Yakovlev on the same basis.

The charge that Trotsky was collaborating with Hitler's German government had been one of the main accusations at the First and Second Moscow Trials of August, 1936, and January, 1937. In ser­vice to the ASP this charge has long been dismissed as false, a fab­rication by Stalin and a slander on Trotsky. Yakovlev's confession statement, as well as Stalin's comments on it, also recorded in the Lubianka 1937-1938 volume, comprise an important item in the mass of evidence we now possess this charge against Trotsky is true.

(...)

Concealing Stalin's Leniency Towards Bukharin

(..) 

..as Kotkin falsely claims. Rather, Stalin supported the most lenient punishment for Bukharin and Rykov: not even imprisonment but only "internal exile" to some small city. Others, including some later convicted as conspirators, were for a trial or even for execution!
In the initial polling of thirty-six members of the commission, six spoke for executing Bukharin and Ry­kov. Eight, including the particularly vituperative Postyshev and Shkiriatov, were for arresting and trying Bukharin and Rykov but for sentencing them to prison rather than to death. Sixteen members either expressed no opinion or their votes were not recorded. 
It is the remaining group that is especially intriguing. As the first draft indicates, five members were "for the suggestion of Comrade Stalin." But what was that suggestion? In the original document, Stalin spoke against the death penalty, a prison sentence, or even a trial, and for the relatively lenient punishment of internal exile. In the final version, Stalin's modified "suggestion " had become the final decision not to send them to trial but to turn the matter of Bu­kharin and Rykov over to the NKVD for further inves­tigation. ... This was the third time that Stalin had personally intervened to avoid unambiguously condemning Bukharin. (Getty & Naumov, 416)
Kotkin knows that it was Stalin who wanted the most lenient punishment for Bukharin and Rykov. Yet Kotkin follows the paragraph above with this sentence: "Perhaps Stalin might now be satiated?"
What dishonesty!

(...)

The "Torture telegram"

(...)

Once again, Kotkin's deception here is through bias by omission. For, just as Khrushchev did in his infamous "Secret Speech" to the XX Party Congress on February 25, 1956, Kotkin omits the bold faced passage (below) from the telegram, which occurs immediately after "approved by 'the Central Committee'":
At the same time it was stated that physical pressure is permitted as an exception and, in addition, only in relation to blatant enemies of the people who, taking advantage of the humane method of interrogation, stubbornly refuse to give up their co­ -conspirators; who refuse to confess for months; and who strive to slow down the discovery of conspirators who are still at large; and so continue their struggle against Soviet power even from prison. Experience has shown that this policy has produced results by greatly speeding up the exposure of enemies of the people. It is true that subsequently in practice the method of physical pressure was sullied by scum Zakovsky, Litvin, Uspensky, and others, because they turned it from am exception into a rule and employed it against honest people who had been accidentally arrested. For these abuses, they have been duly punished. But this does not invalidate the method itself, insofar as it is employed correctly in practice. ( Krushchev Lied, 333)
Why did Krushchev omit this passage? Because in it Stalin limits the application of the "use of physical pressure" and attacks Yezhov's NKVD men, identifying three of them by name, as "scum". 

Krushchev could get away with this - the full text of this "torture telegram" was not published until Gorbachev's day. We know Krushchev was a liar and faker; What is to be said about Kotkin?

From the Book 

Stalin: Waiting For ... The Truth! - Exposing the Falsehoods in Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin. Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941


Those who have access and  can afford the book should buy it for the support .
If not all, most anti communist books are funded by large foundations of monopoly capitalists and by imperialist government's NGOs. These falsifications, slanders, lies are widely translated and made available to the largest readers. It is vitally important task to translate and make the books and writings of Grover Furr available and accessible to the readers.