Of all the despots of our time, Joseph Stalin lasted the longest and wielded the greatest power, and his secrets have been the most jealously guarded—even after his death.
In this book, the first to draw from recently released archives, leading USSR scholar-historian Robert Conquest gives us Stalin as a child and student; as a revolutionary and communist theoretician; as a political animal skilled in amassing power and absolutely ruthless in maintaining it. He presents the landmarks of Stalin’s rule: the clash with Lenin, collectivization, the Great Terror, the Nazi-Soviet pact and the Nazi-Soviet war, the anti-Semitic campaign that preceded his death, and the legacy he left behind.
Distilling a lifetime’s study, weaving detail, analysis, and research, Conquest has given us an extraordinarily powerful narrative of this incredible figure—one of the most enigmatic and terrifying figures of modern times.
This is an interesting look at Stalin's personality. The author goes through a mountain of hard evidence that in the end not only shows Stalin to be a monster, but gives some insight into why he was a monster. There is enough information about the Russian revolution to orient even someone who knew nothing about it going in.