"Enemies Within the Gates?" by William J.              Chase

Enemies Within the Gates? The Comintern and the Stalinist Repression, 1934-1939 William J. Chase, Vadim A. Staklo

Annals of Communism Series
Publication date:
11 Dec 2001
Yale University Press
560 pages: 235 x 156mm
29 b-w illus.
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This compelling work of documentary history tells a story of idealism betrayed, a story of how the Comintern (Communist International), an organization established by Lenin in 1919 to direct and assist revolutionary movements throughout the world, participated in and was ultimately destroyed by the Stalinist repression in the late 1930s. Presenting and drawing on recently declassified archival documents, William J. Chase analyzes the Comintern’s roles as agent, instrument, and victim of terror.

In both principle and practice, the Comintern was an international organization, with a staff that consisted primarily of Communist émigrés who had fled dictatorial regimes in Europe and Asia. It was, however, headquartered in Moscow and controlled by Soviet leaders. This book examines the rise of suspicions and xenophobia among Soviet and Comintern leaders and cadres for whom many foreigners were no longer the heroes of the class struggle but rather possible enemy agents. Some Comintern members internalized and acted on Stalin’s theories about the infiltration of foreign spies into Soviet society, supplying the Soviet police with information that led to the exile or execution of imigris. Thousands of other imigris also became victims of the purges. Together the text and documents of this book convey graphically the essential roles played by the Comintern, providing a unique perspective on the era of Stalinist repression and terror.

William J. Chase is professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh.

"This book is about an extraordinary group of people at an extraordinary time caught up in a life and death struggle. The documents show bluntly and brutally how the Russian Revolution under Stalin ate its own children."?Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Chicago

?This compilation should be acquired by every academic library and specialized collections on totalitarianism or the former USSR.??Library Journal

"This compilation should be acquired by every academic library and specialized collections on totalitarianism or the former USSR."—Robert H. Johnston, Library Journal