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Manages skilfully to weave in well known accounts of Stalin with new material recently made available from Russian archives. This enables the author to produce and defend firm arguments on Stalin's motivations when he was dealing with , or instigating, clashes with the Western world. The book reinforces the argument that neither Churchill nor Roosevelt , despite all their worldly experience, got the true measure of the man. But it also illustrates that despite his considerable political skill and ruthlessness Stalin remained a prisoner of his ideology; a true heir to Lenin and therefore properly doomed to fail.