This is a new and enlarged volume, chock full of material not to be found anywhere else and constituting an overwhelming indictment of Stalin and his system. The vital center of the book is the treatment of the purges and other monstrous crimes of the 1930s, when Stalin established dictatorial power at the expense of the lives of his colleagues and rivals and of millions of ordinary citizens. Here Medvedev is at his best, bringing evidence and testimony to bear and taking issue with those of differing views when he sees fit. The latter part of the book, covering Stalin's conduct of the war and the domination of Eastern Europe, though well founded in its facts and analysis, is less detailed and less absorbing. The author has his own vigorously defended views on Stalinism's place in history and its relation to Leninism. As an historian, however, he has but one goal, the truth.