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Young Stalin

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A revelatory account that finally unveils the shadowy journey from obscurity to power of the Georgian cobblers son who became the Red Tsar—the man who, along with Hitler, remains the modern personification of evil.

What makes a Stalin? What formed this merciless psychopath who was, as well, a consummate politician, the dynamic world statesman who helped create and industrialize the USSR, outplayed Churchill and Roosevelt, organized Stalingrad, took Berlin and defeated Hitler?

Young Stalin tells the story of a charismatic, darkly 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—both by the time he was in his early twenties—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. Here is the dramatic story of his friendships and hatreds, his many love affairs—with women from every social stratum and age group—his illegitimate children and his complicated relationship with the Tsarist secret police. Here is Stalin the arch-conspirator and escape artist whose brutal ingenuity so impressed Lenin that Lenin made him, along with Trotsky, top henchman. Montefiore makes clear how the paranoid criminal underworld was Stalins natural habitat, and how murderous Caucasian banditry and political gangsterism, combined with pitiless ideology, enabled Stalin to dominate the Kremlin—and create the USSR in his flawed image.

Based on ten years of research in newly opened archives in Russia and Georgia, Young Stalin—companion to the prizewinning Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar—is a brilliant prehistory of the USSR, a chronicle of the Revolution, and an intimate biography. A thrilling work of history, unparalleled in its scope, full of astonishing new evidence and utterly fascinating: this is how Stalin became Stalin.

Review:

"Russian historian and author Montefiore presents an exciting, exemplary biography of the nondescript peasant boy who would become the most ruthless leader in Soviet history, a prequel of sorts to his Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. Born in 1878 in the Caucasus of Georgia to an overprotective mother (who had already lost two sons) and a father opposed to education ('I'm a shoemaker and my son will be one too'), Stalin possessed a talent for poetry and mischief. Amidst his mom's trysts (with men she hoped would further Stalin's education), his father's alcohol-fueled violence and the powder-keg environment of the Caucasus, Stalin turned from priesthood training to gang life and petty crime. As he grew, so did his hatred of Tsarist Russia, leading him to meet the initial Bolsheviks, and to more spectacular and violent capers. From the start, Stalin proved a remarkable talent for meticulous planning, a skill that would become vital to the revolutionaries and, later, to his iron-fisted reign. Using recently opened records, Montefiore turns up intriguing new information (like the 'Fagin-like' role he played among 'a prepubescent revolutionary street intelligence' network), Montefiore captures in an absorbing narrative both Stalin's conflicted character-marked by powerful charisma and deep paranoia-and the revolution's early years with stunning clarity." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"For centuries travelers in Caucasia have depicted that mountainous land as a mysterious, enchanted place where the locals are savage and noble, the terrain majestic and wild, the rivers always turbulent. But exoticizing Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan has had a dangerous side effect: a tendency, particularly pronounced among Russians, to demonize Caucasians as bandits, terrorists and cheats. Caucasia's... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Book News Annotation:

Following up on his earlier Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (which won the History Book of the Year Prize at the 2004 British Book Awards), Montefiore here recounts the life of Soviet leader Josef Stalin up to the point of the October Revolution of 1917, focusing on "the intimate and secret, political and personal lives of Stalin and the small circle that ultimately came to create and rule the Soviet Union until the 1960s." He justifies this focus by suggesting that the personalities and patronage of a minuscule oligarchy were the essence of politics under Lenin and Stalin and that, therefore, Stalin's early history of brigandage, political gangsterism, and paranoia are explanatory of much wider issues of Soviet history. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The companion to the acclaimed "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" delivers the revelatory account that finally unveils the shadowy journey from obscurity to power of the man who, along with Hitler, personifies evil. 32 pages of photographs.

About the Author

Simon Sebag Montefiore is a historian of Russia whose works have been published in twenty-seven languages. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar was awarded the History Book of the Year Prize at the 2004 British Book Awards. Potemkin: Catherine the Greats Imperial Partner was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper and Marsh Biography prizes in Britain. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, novelist and television presenter, Montefiore lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400044658
Author:
Montefiore, Simon Se
Publisher:
Knopf
Author:
Montefiore, Simon Sebag
Author:
Montefiore, Sebag
Author:
Sebag Montefiore, Simon
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Heads of state
Subject:
Soviet Union
Subject:
Stalin, Joseph
Subject:
Heads of state -- Soviet Union.
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20071016
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 PAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.44x6.44x1.58 in. 1.89 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Russia » Soviet Union
History and Social Science » World History » Russia

Young Stalin Used Hardcover
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$10.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9781400044658 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Russian historian and author Montefiore presents an exciting, exemplary biography of the nondescript peasant boy who would become the most ruthless leader in Soviet history, a prequel of sorts to his Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. Born in 1878 in the Caucasus of Georgia to an overprotective mother (who had already lost two sons) and a father opposed to education ('I'm a shoemaker and my son will be one too'), Stalin possessed a talent for poetry and mischief. Amidst his mom's trysts (with men she hoped would further Stalin's education), his father's alcohol-fueled violence and the powder-keg environment of the Caucasus, Stalin turned from priesthood training to gang life and petty crime. As he grew, so did his hatred of Tsarist Russia, leading him to meet the initial Bolsheviks, and to more spectacular and violent capers. From the start, Stalin proved a remarkable talent for meticulous planning, a skill that would become vital to the revolutionaries and, later, to his iron-fisted reign. Using recently opened records, Montefiore turns up intriguing new information (like the 'Fagin-like' role he played among 'a prepubescent revolutionary street intelligence' network), Montefiore captures in an absorbing narrative both Stalin's conflicted character-marked by powerful charisma and deep paranoia-and the revolution's early years with stunning clarity." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The companion to the acclaimed "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" delivers the revelatory account that finally unveils the shadowy journey from obscurity to power of the man who, along with Hitler, personifies evil. 32 pages of photographs.
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