Kevin, Toren, and Joe continue their look at Joseph Stalin with WWII-era horribleness, news about the return of a Georgian monument to Stalin and pop culture with Children of the Revolution, Animal Farm, and more!

Music: “Stalin Kicked the Bucket” by Ray Anderson

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  • Derek Weber

    Toren: “I was looking for a silver lining.”
    Allan: “He had great hair.”
    Great dialogue fellas! 🙂

  • Kabur Naj

    Kevin: I have a hard time thinking we’re going to find someone more evil than this one.
    Toren: And that is your challenge.

    I think (*hope*) Toren’s challenge was for everyone to scour through the history books and true crime books for someone even more reprehensible than Stalin, but it kind of came across sounding like a challenge to your listeners to try to *be* more vile than Stalin.

    Actually, I recently listened to the Hardcore History series on Genghis Khan and his descendants, and Genghis on his own would appear to dwarf Stalin when it comes to callous disregard for human life and total body count (especially when adjusted for inflation, see for example http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm#Mongol). If you were a Mongol who stepped out of line, even in small ways, you would be killed immediately. If you were an adversary who survived an attack by the Mongols, you would be terrorized into fighting for the Mongols in their next battle, or be killed immediately.

    The Khans’ motives may have been marginally more laudable than Stalin’s (whose motivation seems to have been the quest for personal power more than the good of his people), but even that might be open for debate. Perhaps a topic for a future episode?

  • Allan Newell

    Hello Soda Jerks.
    The book about airbrushing people out of Soviet pictures is called: The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin’s Russia.
    By David King, 1997.

    Really worth a read. Sorry I blanked-out during the recording.

    • Steven Aston

      Ahhh beaten to it! As soon as you mentioned it I came here to post what it was!

      • Allan Newell

        You could just airbrush mine out and replace it with yours . . .

  • xman

    I Managed to catch Howard Barker’s The Power of the Dog some years back and Stalin is portrayed in it almost exactly as you characterise him here. Definitely worth reading or seeing if you can. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/222836494

  • Derek Weber

    That discussion of attempting to breed the perfect soldier from chimps (was it?) reminded me of The Elephantmen comics. I have only read a couple of them, but it might be interesting for the genetic engineering of animal soldiers.

  • Taylor

    Regarding finding someone more evil than Stalin- I’ve felt like kidnappers Fritzl Case and more recently Ariel Castro are contenders. While they may not have the body counts of infamous dictators, I suspect they have inflicted more anguish on individual victims than Stalin or Hitler ever did.

    • Generaleesimo

      Not to diminish the evil of Josef Fritzl or Ariel Castro, but I personally don’t think they hold a candle to Stalin (who does have torture and murder on his resume). Check out the Ted Bundy epsiode if you want to hear us debate relative evil between a guy who orders genocide and a guy who actually gets his hands dirty.

      Although Fritzl’s and Castro’s victims undoubtedly suffered at their hands, they were all alive at the end of it (with the exception of a couple of unfortunate infants — check out our Infanticide epsiode for more on that front….), so simply because of that they would rank pretty low on my personal evil-ometer.

      But, I might change my mind on that if I was locked in a basement and sexually assaulted for 10 straight years….

  • Nick

    Looking at his portrait… did he put product in his hair?!

  • Pavel Lishin

    Apparently, there was an article published yesterday about Stalin as an editor. Might be worth a read: http://chronicle.com/article/article-content/142109/

  • MHD

    I’m not certain if this belongs in Part I or Part II regarding the murder of Trotsky. But the reason a mountaineering (ice) axe would not be wildly out of place in Mexico is because the nearby volcanoes is quite large (Popocatepetl for instance is 5426M/17802 ft tall) and would require an ice axe as necessary safety equipment. I’m guessing this would be the perfect cover for a pair of assassins coming in as Russian mountain climbers.