A more sophisticated example of Stalinist apologetics came in 2009 when Yuza and Eksmo published Leonid Naumov’s ‘The Bloody Dwarf’ against the Leader of Nations: Yezhov’s Plot. Naumov considers the pro-Stalin historian J. Arch Getty, a UCLA history professor who has soft-pedaled the Great Terror for American audiences, to be his master. One of Getty’s more significant contributions to revisionism was the shifting of blame for the bloody purges from Stalin to Nikolai Yezhov, head of the NKVD in the mid-1930s. But this apparently didn’t go far enough, and Getty later exculpated Yezhov as well in a 2008 monograph published by Yale University Press (and coauthored with Oleg V. Naumov—apparently a distant relative of Leonid’s) called Stalin’s ‘Iron Fist’: The Times and Life of N. I. Yezhov, in which Getty and Naumov write, “Although it seems so from our liberal perspective, Yezhov’s cruelty was not in contradiction with the specific ideas of humanity and community he shared with his fellows.”So, if Stalin wasn’t the real culprit in, er, Stalinism, who’s to blame?
No one. All the bloodletting was the function of impersonal forces of history.Just one of those things, then, just one of those crazy things.
"Hey, you kids get off my lawn! And put Uncle Joe right-side up!"