N.I. Yezhov: A Biography by Aleksei Polyansky

Copyright © 2001 by Hugo S. Cunningham
first posted y10919
latest minor change y10919

Aleksej Ivanovich Polyanskij, Ezhov: istoriya «zheleznogo» stalinskogo narkoma [Yezhov: a History of the "Iron" Stalinist Commissar], Veche/Osobyj Arxiv, Moskva, 2001.
400 pp.
Address of publishers:

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Note: these short and fragmentary comments will not duplicate biographical information available in our writeup of Shoshkin and Bryukhanov's book.

Polyansky's biography leans heavily on documents from Yezhov's arrest (19 Apr 1939) and interrogation. His arrest is recorded on p. 197, a relatively early point in the book.

This book has some limitations for scholars, eg. no index (a common failing of Russian books) and less-than-comprehensive footnotes (though more than I see in most Russian books). As a literary device, conversations are recreated even when no transcript can confirm them, eg. on pp. 94-96, the newly appointed Commissar of the NKVD cautions his wife against the political indiscretions of her circle of arty friends.
Despite these quibbles, however, Mr. Polyansky's book provides more material than is available anywhere else.

A few points made in this book about N.I. Yezhov:

Return to Counterrevolutionary version of N.I. Yezhov's biography.

Link to Authorized version of N.I. Yezhov's biography

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