munists, in or outside of the SovietnUnion. Walter Laqueur’s more conventionalnassumption, that Lenin’s rule andnthe attitudes it fostered were likely tonlead to something like Stalinism, is onnthis point more convincing.nIt is notable that Robert Tucker declaresnthat his interpretation was notnbasically affected by the revelations ofnglasnost; they have, he says, merelynreinforced his views. Those revelationsnare the main subject of WalternLaqueur’s book, which is, unfortunately,nnot quite up to Mr. Laqueur’s usualnhigh standards, and which shows somensigns of hasty writing. Still, it contains angood deal of new information thatnLaqueur handles with characteristicnclarity and common sense, althoughnwithout arriving at any drastic departuresnfrom earlier interpretations. Newndata on the Great Purges, the uncoveringnof the NKVD’s mass graves, thenrecalculation of the number of Stalin’snvictims — now calculated at up to 40nmillion by Roy Medvedev — andnStalin’s attempt to make peace with then26/CHRONICLESnA War Memorialnby Tom DischnThe v/hile they scrambled to escapenThe consequences of their crimes —nTorture, pillage, murder, rape,nAccording to The Times —nAllah the Merciless preparednThe banquet destined for Iraq.n”Let no expense, or life, be spared,”nHe bade. “And now, attack!”nFor fifty miles and four lanes widenThe hulks of trucks and gutted carsnStill Ell the highway where they diednHuzzahing, “Victory is ours!”n—March II, 1991nNazis through Bulgaria in 1941 are allntreated here. Laqueur also discusses (asnin his previous book, The Long Roadnto Freedom) the bizarre alliance thatnhas developed between the so-callednconservatives within the CommunistnParty and groups on the extreme Russiannnationalist right like Pamyat. Thenposition of the neo-Stalinist bureaucratsnneeds no explanation, but thenrightist groups, which perhaps havenmore popular support, present an intriguingnproblem. Their hatred of Leninnand Trotsky and their hostility tonnon-Russians, especially to Jews, hasnled to a peculiar sort of anti-anti-nStalinism. In the minds of these people,nStalin was not all that bad: henmerely killed Communists (many ofnthem Jewish) who had destroyed manyngood Russians, and his view of Russiannpatriotic traditions was essentially, ansympathetic one. Their special devilsnare Trotsky and Lazar Kaganovich —nthe latter the sole important Jew innStalin’s entourage and the only one ofnhis cronies still alive — rather than thennnmonster from Tiflis.nAnti-Semitism apart, their argumentnthat the prominent victims of the purgesndo not deserve much sympathy hasnsubstance. Still, “non-party” victimsnoutnumbered Communist Party members,nhigh and low, by nine or ten tonone; while even before the purges,nStalin had far surpassed Lenin andnTrotsky in his destruction of the muzhiks.nPamyat and similar groups havensucceeded in the difficult task of addingnsome new thing to the history ofnpolitical perversity in the 20th century;nwith any luck, however, it will remainnno more than a footnote to that history.nOccasionally, Laqueur fails to comento grips with the issues. He rightlyncriticizes those Russian patriots whonargue that there was nothing particularlynRussian about Stalinism, whichnwas just a local and severe case of anglobal phenomenon, “from Madrid tonShanghai.” The trouble with this argument,nof course, is that Stalin came tonpower in Russia; to ignore the fact isnsimilar to insisting that the Germansnbore no particular responsibility fornNazism because there were fascistngroups in other countries, too. But,nrather than point this out, Laqueurnmerely grumbles that “such theoriesnlack conviction. If some Western intellectualsnhad voiced support for Stalinneven in the late 1930’s, it was becausenthey knew little about contemporarynRussia. Their support stemmed primarilynfrom the assumption that Nazismnwas the main enemy and thatnStalin’s help was essential.”nBut an old hand like WalternLaqueur surely knows this is going tooneasy on Communist supporters in thenWest, who numbered far more thann”some intellectuals” and whose motivesncan hardly be ascribed simply tonanti-fascism. Many of the namesnLaqueur himself cites in this contextn(e.g., Henri Barbusse) had becomenoutright Communists long before Hitlerntook power, and some remained sonduring the Nazi-Soviet Pact. The defensenof civilized values hardly necessitatednjoining another totalitariannenemy — even had that enemy’s oppositionnto fascism been genuine. It isnsurprising to see this tired old whitewashnof Communists and their sympathizersnlaid on once again. Even as anreproach to feverish Russian nationalism,nit is simply inappropriate. <$>n