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Translated and Introduced by
Henry Hakamaki & Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro

Iskra Books is honored to present the first-ever authorized English translation of Domenico Losurdo's now-classic text, Stalin: Storia e critica di una leggenda nera—Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend. Available for the first time in both softcover and jacketed hardcover, Henry Hakamäki and Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro's brilliant original translation brings Losurdo's near-legendary text to a new generation of organizers, activists, and scholars, providing an essential academic counter-narrative to the rampant demonization of one of fascism's most ardent enemies.


"Domenico Losurdo’s Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend recaptures the distorted personal and political narrative proffered by western historians for over 75 years. This magisterial work convincingly counters the biased distortions of both establishment and left historians through a balanced historiographic and philosophical exegesis of Stalin’s complex life and leadership, as well as his contributions to socialism and the defeat of fascism. Losurdo’s heretical counter-hegemonic history authentically counters the mythical, demonic figure of Stalin into a true-to-life biography of the most significant political figure of the 20th century. Fifteen years after its publication in Italian, Henry Hakamäki and Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro’s superb translation brings Losurdo’s compelling corrective of Stalin to English readers.”

Immanuel Ness, Author of Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class


“In this intrepid and rigorous study, Domenico Losurdo takes on the myth of the monster by shedding much-needed light on the monstrous situation in which Joseph Stalin found himself: that of building the world’s first socialist state under conditions of incessant imperialist assault, civil war, subversive plots, fascist invasion, and the risks of nuclear annihilation. Losurdo’s dialectical assessment of the commendable as well as the deplorable decisions made by Soviet leadership, given the circumstances, provides the reader with an extraordinary opportunity to learn practical and difficult lessons from concrete history. This book is thus an essential antidote to the terrifying tales whose purpose is to produce fear-induced ignorance, and thus benighted ideological alignment against ‘the monster.’”

Gabriel Rockhill, Founding Director of the Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique, Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University

Five years after Mimmo’s sudden passing, one of his strongest intentions comes true: the translation into English of his most heartfelt and controversial book on the figure of Stalin. The Losurdo family, myself and my mother Ute Brielmayer, who was Mimmo’s lifelong companion and tireless translator of a large part of his works into German, can only express deep gratitude to the publishing house Iskra Books and to Henry Hakamäki and Salvatore Engel- Di Mauro for their competent, rigorous, and balanced translation. With the hope that this book may contribute to the dissemination of Mimmo’s thoughts, ideas, and categories, inspiring the path of other young scholars.

Federico Losurdo

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