Robert Service wrote in his book
“Stalin left no memoirs. Before the 1920s no one troubled to write more than a brief sketch of him. Those who did put words into print scorned him. . . Nikolai Sukhanov, dismissed him as ‘grey, dull, blank.’ Trotski and his sympathisers . . . ridiculed Stalin as a bureaucrat without an opinion or even a personality of his own . . . (Stalin’s) defects were thought obvious. Stalin had not lived as an émigré before the fall of the Imperial monarchy in the February Revolution. He was neither a polyglot nor a decent orator. He was a mere administrator such features were offered as proof that he deserved second rate status among the party leaders” How then did this administrator become leader of the USSR?
* Even before the death of Lenin, the leaders of the Bolshevik regime had begun to prepare themselves for the power struggle which was likely to ensue after Lenin’s death. * The main contenders were the members of the Politburo; which included Zinoviev, Kamenev, Tomsky, Bukharin, Rykov, Stalin and Trotsky. * The Politburo was divided between the right and left wing elements of the party. * The main dividing issue was the pace of industrialisation. Stalin’s personal characteristics and qualities
* Stalin appeared at the least and probably was a loyal party member. He was one of the few leadership contenders who actually had proletarian routes. It seemed that Stalin wanted to keep the party together at all costs and was not interested in causing a split amongst the Bolsheviks. * Stalin was seen by many in the party as being more down to earth and practical than other leading members of the Bolshevik Party. His skills as a good bureaucrat meant that he was suited to managing a centralised party. * Stalin was tough and ruthless. He was determined to protect his power base and make sure that he was not ousted. Stalin’s position in the party
* Stalin had control of the party...