Short Biography of Joseph Stalin
Creating and maintaining a government between Marxism and Leninism, Joseph Stalin’s government was one later dubbed Stalinism. His stance in the middle ground of the left and right would redefine communism and would shoot the Soviet Union to becoming the second super power, after the United States, in the entire world.
Not much is known about Joseph Stalin’s early life. Many of his records and writings he did not want circulated were destroyed during his rule. His daughter named Svetlana Alliluyeva, considered the most reliable source for Stalin’s biographical information, has been interviewed for documentaries, books, and films.
The young Joseph was born to poor, working class parents. He had a difficult upbringing as his father drank and beat his mother. His childhood nickname was ‘Soso’ and he was educated in Georgia, where he was forced to speak Russian. After graduating first in his class at age 14, he won a scholarship to the Seminary of Tiflis. After this time, he became more involved with the socialist movement and began grasping onto the ideas of Marxism.
Stalin had a son named Yakov who he did not treat well. When the son attempted suicide, Stalin was apathetic to the situation and claimed his son couldn’t even shoot himself straight. When the Germans in World War II captured his son, he would do nothing to rescue him or barter for his release. After the death of his first wife, his second wife shot herself. And, when Stalin’s mother died, he did not attend the funeral.
After Stalin’s rule, another son named Yuri Davydov was found. He claimed his father had told him not to talk about his lineage. He was also not to mention his mother’s common-law marriage to Stalin while he was exiled in Siberia.
Upon Stalin’s rise to power, he embraced factionalism, which prevented groups from outwardly opposing the leader’s policies. Through great scheming of internal and external intelligence, Stalin used the KGB and other agencies to keep the flow of information coming. With his astute ability at manipulation and secrecy, Stalin was able to set up intelligence rings in all the major cities in the world, who would report to him with their findings.
Additionally, under Stalin’s rule, science, technology, and Russia’s infrastructure boomed. Under his communist rule, however, the arts or anything involving self-expression were suppressed, even though Stalin was a published poet before his rise to power. Through his strict control of the government and his ability to keep his empire together, Russia became the super power, competing and actually overtaking the United States in the race into space, national education, healthcare, women’s rights, and even liberties for those of different ethnic backgrounds. Stalin was an unsympathetic ruler who always took whatever means to gain his ends. He was directly involved in the starvation of five to ten million of his people under collectivization, where he blamed a minority of Kulak peasants for not abiding by his agricultural rules of production and distribution. On the other hand, if it hadn’t been for Stalin’s military savvy and intelligence during World War II, Hitler might not have been defeated.