Stalin's Russia 

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The Leadership Struggle


  • Well-off Jewish family of independent farmers.
  • He joined a revolutionary group, but was soon exiled because of his poltical radicalism. 
  • 1902 he joined Lenin and other Marxists in London

Revolutionary Record:

  • 1905 Revolution - leading figure in the St Petersburg Soviet of November - organised a general strike amongst St Petersburg workers. 
  • 1917 - reputation and oratory won support for the Communists during the planning of the October Revolution. 
  • Reconstructed the Red Army during the Civil War of 1918-1921 

Relationship with Lenin: 

  • 1903 - Sided with the Mensheviks - turbulent relationship with Lenin, however, he later joined the Communists in 1917 - worked closely with Lenin.
  • 'No better communist. The most able man in the present Central Committee' - Lenin's testament. He also said he arrogant. 

Appeal within the party:

  • Revolutionary heroism in 1905, 1917 and during the Civil War won support from young Communists. 
  • Loyalty of the Red Army
  • Many in the party resented that Lenin trusted Trotsky
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