Intimate Enemies is a brilliant study of the transformation of Bolshevik Party ideology, language, and power relations during the crucial period leading up to Stalin's seizure of power. Combining extensive research in recently opened Soviet archives with an insight rereading of intra-Party struggles, Igal Halfin uncovers this evolution in the language of Bolshevism. This language defined the methods for judging true party loyalty - in what Halfin describes as an examination of the 'hermeneutics of the soul,' and became the basis for prosecuting the Party's enemies, particularly the ""intimate enemies"" within the Party itself. Halfin argues that Bolshevism - which claimed sole access to truth and morality - ultimately demonized its enemies and became in effect a theology that facilitated a monumental power shift.
Igal Halfin is professor of history at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of From Darkness to Light: Class, Consciousness, and Salvation in Revolutionary Russia and editor of Terror in My Soul: Communist Autobiographies on Trial, and Language and Revolution: The Making of Modern Political Identities.