Mehring Yayıncılık publishes Turkish edition of Vadim Rogovin’s 1937: Stalin’s Year of Terror

Mehring Yayıncılık is pleased to announce the publication of the Turkish edition of 1937: Stalin’s Year of Terror by the Russian Marxist historian and sociologist Vadim Zaharovich Rogovin. This is the first work in Turkish by Rogovin, who died on September 18, 1998. The book can be ordered here.

The cover of the Turkish edition of the 1937: Stalin’s Year of Terror

This volume is the first major study by a Russian Marxist historian of the most tragic and fateful year in the history of the Soviet Union. Possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of Soviet source material, including archival documents that were only recently released, Professor Rogovin presents a detailed and penetrating analysis of the causes, impact and consequences of Stalin’s purges.

Rogovin (1937-1998) demonstrates that the principal function and aim of the terror was the physical annihilation of the substantial socialist opposition to Stalin’s bureaucratic regime. Moreover, Rogovin places at the very center of this historical tragedy the crucial political figure whom most contemporary historians tend, for various ideological reasons, to ignore: Leon Trotsky. Rogovin insists that it is impossible to understand the purges apart from Stalin’s determination to stamp out all vestiges of Trotsky’s influence which, despite years of repression, had remained a powerful current with considerable support and revolutionary potential within the USSR.

Rogovin was a Doctor of Philosophical Sciences and leading researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He is the author of 250 scholarly works, including eight monographs on problems of social policy, the history of social thought and the history of political movements in the former USSR.

Unlike almost all his colleagues in academia, Rogovin did not abandon his Marxist and socialist views during the years of perestroika and after the collapse of the USSR. He openly declared his defence of Trotskyism and embarked on the intellectual project that would occupy him for the last decade of his life: to write a history of the Marxist opposition to Stalinism in the Soviet Union between 1923 and 1940.

Before succumbing to cancer in 1998, Rogovin completed six of the planned seven volumes in the series “Was There an Alternative?” Published in 1996, 1937: Stalin’s Year of Terror is the fourth volume in this unique work.

Rogovin’s activities were not limited to research and writing. In 1993, he made contact with the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). He developed a close political and intellectual relationship with the ICFI and publicly declared his solidarity with its programme. Between 1995 and 1998 he gave lectures organised by the International Committee in the United States, Britain, Germany and Australia.

After Rogovin’s untimely death, David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, predicted, “Vadim’s work will, for decades to come, dominate historical literature on the subject of the Stalinist terror.” This prediction has been borne out over the past twenty-five years, with Rogovin recognized as a world authority on Stalinist terror.

By publishing the Turkish editions of the remaining volumes of Rogovin’s series, Mehring Yayıncılık aims to ensure that the unique work of this great Marxist historian makes a necessary contribution to the development of historical consciousness in the building of the Trotskyist movement, the ICFI, among workers and youth in Turkey.