Within Russian and Soviet studies psychohistory has had few practitioners and a negligible effect, with the notable exception of Robert C. Tucker, an eloquent theorist of Soviet politics and a preeminent biographer of Stalin. His strategy for uncovering the unknown early Stalin has involved borrowing from the methodologies of psychoanalysis with the aim of showing how the pathology of the adult Stalin was rooted in the child. Yet his approach has found few adherents.
Stalin is without doubt one of the least hospitable subjects for the psychohistorian. Not particularly introspective, he left no intimate letters, no secret diary, and few witnesses to his inner life. Moreover, Bolshevik political culture was hostile to open personal expression and imposed on Stalin and other adherents an enforced modesty.