Young Stalin

Young Stalin

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
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The shadowy journey from obscurity to power of the Georgian cobbler's son who became the Red Tsar--the man who, along with Hitler, remains the modern personification of evil: a merciless psychopath who was, as well, a consummate politician, the dynamic world statesman who helped create and industrialize the USSR, outplayed Churchill and Roosevelt, and defeated Hitler? Historian Montefiore tells the story of a charismatic, turbulent boy born into poverty, of doubtful parentage, scarred by his upbringing but possessed of unusual talents. Admired as a romantic poet and trained as a priest, he found his true mission as a fanatical revolutionary. A mastermind of bank robbery, protection rackets, arson, piracy and murder, he was equal parts terrorist, intellectual and brigand. The paranoid criminal underworld was Stalin's natural habitat, and murderous banditry and political gangsterism, combined with pitiless ideology, enabled Stalin to dominate the Kremlin--and create the USSR in his flawed image.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.
ISBN: 9781400044658
1400044650
Branch Call Number: BIO STALIN J. Montefio 12/2007
Characteristics: xxxii, 460 p. :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.

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jkeaton
Oct 23, 2015

Anyone interested in Russian history, or Georgian history will love this book. But so will people interested in how other people develop and change (or don't) and how personalities are shaped will find this book rivetting. Stalin and his terror need not have been - but growing up where he did, in the times he did, and with his essential personality traits made it inevitable that, when he came to power, he would act as he did. Well researched, full of previously unknown facts, stories, and memoirs, this book deserves a beach chair, a sunny week, and a few cool drinks!

s
SeattleSaul
May 10, 2015

This thorough, highly footnoted work is a scholarly document that details how Stalin became Stalin. The story allows us to see him as a person, his strengths and follies, his superior mind and his drive. His greatest crimes against humanity, indeed his own people, lay in the future from this story but one can see the path clearly from here. I do think there is some overly detailed reporting, a bit much flipping between name and nickname and an understandable bias against one of the greatest villains of all time, but nevertheless a readable and enlightening account.

k
kerrywu
Dec 15, 2014

thoroughly researched master piece. unbiased, insightful and very fascinating.
5 star work

p
patrick1949
Oct 24, 2009

This is a highly readable book, perhaps over-detailed for someone seeking a slightly more than cursory look at Stalin. I found it enlightening as to his character and how he rose to the top.

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