Nigel Cawthorne

Stalin

Born Josef Dzhugashvili in Gori, Georgia in 1879, the young Stalin studied to become a priest whilst secretly reading the works of Karl Marx. Politics was to become his religion and between 1902 and 1913 he was arrested for revolutionary activities and exiled to Siberia eight times, escaping on seven occasions. Following the Revolution he employed a cocktail of charm and ruthless cunning to slither up the treacherous Communist Party hierarchy, often by taking posts that nobody wanted which enabled him to build up a power base virtually unnoticed, until, with perfect timing, he was in a position to take over the Party leadership from Lenin when he died in 1924. Surrounding himself with terrified yes-men and trusting absolutely nobody, he was dictator of the Soviet Union from the late 1920s until his death in 1953.
373 printed pages

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Impressions

    Jonathan Von Dongshared an impression5 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    🎯Worthwhile

    Better than some books I've read on the subject, worse than others...some of the "facts" in this book were somewhat misleading especially in regards to Stalin's sex life. The man was an ascetic and paranoid hermit who lived in a closed masculine world of his own design. His romantic adventures as portrayed here are highly questionable.

Quotes

    Narmishahas quoted2 years ago
    The Memorial estimated that as many as 60 million people had died in the Gulag, and they maintained that Vorkuta was by no means the biggest of the penal colonies.
    James Cowleyhas quoted5 years ago
    The third and final stage would be to “get rid of the rest”.’

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