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Young Stalin Hardcover – 3 May 2007
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a gripping read.....the book provides a wealth of serious and scurrilous detail, creating a memorable portrait of one of the 20th century's greatest monsters. (Antony Beevor THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
Montefiore brings Stalin to life (Vince Cable DAILY EXPRESS)
an outstanding book..... a triumph of research and storytelling. (Victor Sebestyen THE EVENING STANDARD)
'The story Montefiore has told requires the psychological penetration and social omniscience of a great novelist. Dickens once or twice peeps over the biographer's shoulder (Peter Conrad THE OBSERVER)
it is hard to imagine how this account can be improved on. Moreover, the narrative flows with insight and humour: YOUNG STALIN is a prequel that outshines even the COURT OF THE RED TSAR. (Donald Rayfield LITERARY REVIEW)
This picture of Stalin as a young poet is one of the revelations of Simon Sebag Montefiore's macabrely fascinating Young Stalin (Antonia Fraser THE MAIL ON SUNDAY)
Simon Sebag Montefiore's thrilling portrait of Stalin's youth. (Michael Burleigh THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
'on one level, this book does the important work of helping one understand exactly how the phenomena of Stalin and Stalinism came into existence: on another it¿s also a very good story, very well told¿ (Paul Fishmann WATERSTONE'S BOOK QUARTERLY)
The aim of any book is to inform, entertain, and be readable, and this book does so admirably, and frequently with a sense of humour. (Jennie Erdal THE SCOTSMAN)
What Montefiore gives us is a richly and fluently documented study of the chief terrorist in the making. (Robert Service THE SUNDAY TIMES)
Vital prequel to the internationally best-selling biography STALIN: COURT OF THE RED TSARSee all Product description
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While there are some masterly works out there, as the acclaimed biography by Robert Service, and Oleg Krasniuk’s updated study, making full use of the archives, a reader may ask the question, why bother with Young Stalin?
The account of Stalin’s early life may not be first on the list for a scholar who concerns themselves with moments that shaped the 20th century, but in Young Stalin, the reader is introduced to the harsh world that shaped the Soviet Dictator.
Young Stalin takes the reader back into the lost world of late 19th and early 20th century Georgia, a place of austere religious traditions, coupled with a harsh dog eat dog lifestyle, to his abandoned seminary days, to the key moments that shaped the Red Tsar, when he discovered Marxism and became an agitator supreme.
Stalin lived an extraordinary life, stirring up strikes, sabotaging the oil industry, robbing banks, and operating like a true street criminal, when he wasn’t whisked away into Siberian exile.
The parts of the book concerning Siberian exile are particularly poignant, and are a true delight for the senses.
The latter part of the book offers a highly readable account of the October Revolution, and gives the readers an overview of the fates of the cast of characters.
Young Stalin is a true delight to read. It is a history, but it reads like a novel. Highly recommended, not just to enthusiasts of Russian history, but to anyone who enjoys a good read.
This book provides a fascinating account of Stalins early life, covering his parents priests training and years as a revolutionary and gangster. The book also debunks the idea of a 'good' Lenin and 'bad' Stalin showing how similar there attitudes were.
Perhaps the most interesting revelation (among many) was the way the seminary Stalin attended was run with a network of informers and sudden and arbitrary searches and harsh punishments. Stalin railed against this at the time but clearly saw it as a good model to follow.
It is stated several times in the book that Stalin was a committed Marxist but the evidence for the assertion is not presented, which is slightly disappointing. However this is a must read for anyone interested in Russian or Soviet history.
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