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New Left Review I/83, January-February 1974

New Left Review

Introduction to Roy Medvedev

The document printed below is without question one of the most important political statements to emerge from within the Soviet Union in recent years. Its author, Roy Medvedev, commands a personal authority in his field as an historian comparable to that of Alexander Solzhenitsyn in the domain of literature, within the Russian opposition. Born in 1928, Roy Medvedev is the author of the only major study of Stalinism that has been written within the USSR since the thirties—Let History Judge (English translation, London 1971), a work distinguished by its scruple and balance, that unsparingly exposes the crimes and blunders committed by Stalin both within Russia and in the international class struggle, and contains one of the most caustic and accurate analyses of the person of the dictator. Unlike the great majority of current Soviet oppositionists, Medvedev is a self-declared Marxist, whose constant concern has been with the real political history of the society created by the October Revolution, and with its impact on the world as a whole in the 20th century.

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