Professor praises Stalin as 'one of the great leaders' of the 20th century

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A California professor was widely hounded on Twitter for praising the legacy of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, calling him “one of the great leaders” of the 20th century. 

Asatar Bair, a self-identified “communist,” is an economics professor at Riverside City College in Southern California. 

In multiple Twitter posts, Bair seemed to suggest that discussions on Stalin, who led the U.S.S.R. between 1924 and 1953, have been lacking in nuance. 

Bair said, contrary to what people say, he does not “idolize” Stalin, but merely holds a “fair and balanced view” of the man. 

“The man was neither savior nor saint, but he was, at once a very successful revolutionary, a great contributor to Marxist theory, and said to be a great listener and collaborator during discussions,” Bair said. 

He credited Stalin for recognizing the threat posed by Nazi Germany and having had the “tactical ability to successfully defeat the world’s greatest invading army, combining with the strength to make tough decisions that have no easy answers.” 

Bair said people ought to read everything Stalin wrote before forming opinions about the man, whom he referred to as, “one of the great leaders of the 20th c[entury] though,” he wrote. 

The Twitter thread prompted a wave of mostly negative comments, with users evoking Stalin’s policies that have been blamed for causing the deaths of millions of people. 

Fox News has reached out to both Bair and RCC seeking comment but did not hear back before publication. 

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