3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent study by Service,
This review is from: Stalin: A Biography (Paperback)
Stalin, one of the most controversial and important political leaders of the 20th century no doubt. Yet, do we have a real understanding of the man and his desires to dominate? Robert Service, a Russian history professor at the University of Oxford, is an expert on all the important figures from this time and has written books on Lenin and Trotsky also. Service is able to give the reader a chapter by chapter account chronicling Stalin's childhood in Georgia, to his early revolutionary days in London and St Petersburg. Leading onto the October Revolution, his rise to power and notoriously the great terror. Service explores themes of personality and society as well the wider picture of global and national politics. I found his account of Stalin's pure determination to take everything and to use murder as a state tool fascinating and eye opening.
I only had a basic understanding of Russian history before but feel I have learnt a great deal. However, I would add that the books on Lenin and Trotsky will give a greater understanding on those figures because if Service had written in greater detail on those two, it would have been a much longer read.
Easy to read and enjoyable.