“Russian politics, like opium, seems infallibly to provoke the most fantastic dreams and imaginings on the part of the people who study them.” — E.A. Walker, British Embassy, Moscow 1931
In March 1933 the economic section of the Soviet secret police arrested six British engineers employed by the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company. The arrests provoked a confrontation that brought Anglo-Soviet relations to the brink of disaster and resurrected the spectre of the show trials and purges of the technical intelligentsia that had shaken Soviet society from 1928 to 1931.
Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution is the first full-length study of the Metro-Vickers’ show trial of 1933. Based upon some new and many underutilized Soviet and British sources, Gordon Morrell examines the political, economic, social, legal and cultural dimensions of the only Stalinist political trial of the 1930s that directly engaged a foreign power.
Morrell explores the roots of the crisis by analyzing Metro-Vickers’ role in the electrification of the USSR and he examines the political, economic and diplomatic relations between Britain and the Soviets that gave the crisis its international importance. He focusses on the efforts of the British Government to understand and respond to the new Stalinist order and, importantly, casts new light on the apparent role of the British Industrial Intelligence Centre during the early 1930s.
Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution is an accessible, original and multidimensional work that makes an important contribution to the study of Anglo-Soviet relations.