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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Since before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, scholars in the area of Soviet history have tried to identify the man born as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. Dzhugashvili, later to shed his Georgian roots and embrace the epithet “Man of Steel,” has been a metaphor for the Soviet zeitgeist, a troubled patient on a psychologist's couch, and a target for claims of both ideological cynicism and blind dogmatic adherence. The literature studied indicates a common interest in and exploration of Stalin’s ideological adherence, his view of the role of history within the context of state and citizenship, and his tendencies as a leader. Scholars have approached these three themes through different means, employing a wide variety of evidentiary techniques and uncovering a slew of conclusions of varying veracity. The similarities in approach, support, and conclusions indicate the foundations of a platform consisting of informed suppositions about the General Secretary that are, if only in a nuanced sense, amenable to one another. The differences, moreover, provide areas of evaluation and potential expansion.