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The Murder of Sergei Kirov
 by Grover Furr
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ISBN: 978-0-615-80201-5
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The Murder of Sergei Kirov
History, Scholarship and the Anti-Stalin Paradigm

On December 1 1934 Leningrad Party leader Sergei M. Kirov was murdered. Investigation of this crime soon led to the three public Moscow “Show” Trials, to the “Tukhachevsky Affair” trial of eight top Army commanders; and then to the “Ezhovshchina” or “Great Terror”.

Was Leonid Nikolaev, Kirov’s killer, a lone gunman acting from personal motives whose crime Stalin then “used” to frame and execute real or imagined enemies? Or was Nikolaev’s arrest the key event that led to the uncovering “the great conspiracy against Soviet Russia”?

Grover Furr has studied all the available evidence, most of it from formerly-secret Soviet archives. He offers complete and original translations of key historical documents and detailed analysis of their significance in an important synthesis that effectively reconsiders one of the pivotal events of Soviet history.

Furr also examines in detail the three latest studies of the Kirov murder – by Alla Kirilina, Åsmund Egge, and Matthew Lenoe. His discovery: all the “authoritative” studies of the Kirov murder are hopelessly wrong.

Written with the same meticulous attention to detail as his 2011 work Khrushchev Lied, Furr’s book The Murder of Sergei Kirov: History, Scholarship and the Anti-Stalin Paradigm is a bold rejoinder to decades of omission, distortion and misinformation by Soviet, Russian, and Western historians.



Reviews and Comments on The Murder of Sergei Kirov

“Grover Furr moves with perfect ease with the Russian language and Russian archives. Without being intimidated by political correctness his research and documentation is precise, patient, meticulous. He has already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that, as the title of one of his previous books states, Khrushchev Lied. Now he confronts the question of Kirov's murder. The Soviet tragedy begins with the “Kirov Affair”. This is one more reason to reconsider it, in the light of the important novelties in the book by Grover Furr.”  

- Professor Domenico Losurdo, University of Urbino, Italy
Author of Stalin. Storia e critica di una leggenda nera (Rome: Carocci, 2008)


“Matthew Lenoe in his massive work has argued that Kirov’s murderer was in fact a lone gunman, and that Stalin used the Kirov murder as an ideal opportunity to smear his opponents. Drawing upon many archival and published sources, Professor Furr provides a better and objective analysis, arguing that the murderer did not act alone, but was a member of the Zinovievite conspirational organization.”     

- Professor Candan Badem, Professor of Russian and Soviet history,
Tunceli University, Turkey


“Grover Furr analyzes in detail the interrogations of Nikolaev's associates, compares them with the testimony of a number of the arrested Zinovievite and the materials of the Moscow Trials 1936-38. He cites sources not accessible to the Russian reader: the Volkogonov Archive, letters of Trotsky from Harvard University, books and article published in the West that are not available in Russian... Furr's book is not an “easy read.” In the author’s own words, it is “for those readers who seek critical examination and analysis.”

- Igor’ Pykhalov, historian, St Petersburg, Russia, author of more than a dozen books on Stalin and Soviet history.

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About the Author

Grover Furr began studying Russian language and literature as a teenager and became interested in Soviet history about a decade later. He has conducted extensive research on the Stalin period of Soviet history, on and off since the 1970s, and intensely for the past decade. To read his research, as well as interviews in which he explains his research more throughly, visit his home page. Furr teaches in the English Department at Montclair State University.  He has a Ph.D. in Medieval Comparative Literature from Princeton University.  

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