By utilizing Christian Theology, Boer is able to synthesize a new understanding of the thoughts and writings of Stalin that is both comprehensive and rigorous. It is here that I would like to claim, ‘If you want to understand Stalin and the U.S.S.R. in which he presided over, then there is no better book.’” (Dalton Winfree, Marx and Philosophy, marxandphilosophy.org.uk, September, 2018)
This book not only explicates Stalin’s thoughts, but thinks with and especially through Stalin. It argues that Stalin often thought at the intersections between theology and Marxist political philosophy – especially regarding key issues of socialism in power. Careful and sustained attention to Stalin’s written texts is the primary approach used. The result is a series of arresting efforts to develop the Marxist tradition in unexpected ways.
Starting from a sympathetic attitude toward socialism in power, this book provides us with an extremely insightful interpretation of Stalin’s philosophy of socialism. It is not only a successful academic effort to re-articulate Stalin’s philosophy, but also a creative effort to understand socialism in power in the context of both the former Soviet Union and contemporary China.
------- Zhang Shuangli, Professor of Marxist philosophy, Fudan University
Boer's book, far from both "veneration" and "demonization" of Stalin, throws new light on the classic themes of Marxism and the Communist Movement: language, nation, state, and the stages of constructing post-capitalist society. It is an original book that also pays great attention to the People's Republic of China, arising from the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, and which is valuable to those who, beyond the twentieth century, want to understand the time and the world in which we live.
-------Domenico Losurdo, University of Urbino, Italy, author of Stalin: The History and Critique of a Black Legend.