I've asked my good friend, a professor of Soviet and Russian history, to recommend something really good for those of you who might want to read more on Stalinism.
I would recommend the two following texts: Stalin: Profiles in Power by Hiroaki Kuromiya, and Anne Applebaum’s Gulag Voices. Both are short (200 pp.) and immediately accessible to all readers – those new to the field and experts alike. We’ve repeatedly used the Kuromiya text in our programs, and always to good effect. Applebaum’s Gulag Voices is also a winner, as it’s an edited anthology of first person survival accounts from a vast array of victims.