Stalin, like Hitler and other tyrants, won and held power because he had collaborators - hangmen.
Drawing on newly released archival material, Donald Rayfield gives us a fuller and more colourful picture of Stalin's inner circle than ever before. Stalin was not the sole author of Stalinism. What motivated his chiefs of police, Feliks Dzierzynski, Viacheslav Manzhinsky, Genrikh Iagoda, Nicolai Ezhov and Lavrenti Beria? What did they want? What were their relations with the regime and its ruler? How did their upbringing and experience mould them? And how does the error they create connect with the terror they felt?
'Stalin And His Hangmen' reconstructs the psychological mechanism of a whole regime and what it held together.