Though I was brought up in the USSR, I hardly ever heard of Beria, and mainly that he was the centre of all the evil that happened during the repressions. Even more so than Stalin, who apparently was simply overwhelmed by this ‘mass murder’ Beria as he was historically presented to the succeeding generations. At school we spent a year studying Ancient History of Greeks and Romans, but we did not have any time to spare for the detailed study of our immediate history. After reading this book I have greatly broaden my understanding of that period, the events & the people that formed Soviet Union and that created the world situation we still find ourselves in now. Sergo Beria is very fond of his father, and while he does not mention anything regarding his father’s womanising brutality and does not pass any judgement on his father’s involvement in mass repressions in 30th and 40th, this book gives a rare witness account into the mechanisms of the power intrigues within the Soviet state. One begins to understand that, apparently, such people like Khruschev, Malenkov, Molotov, Zhdanov and many, many others who we were made to believe to be selfless and incorruptible leaders of the humanistic Socialist state, in fact, were just as guilty, perhaps, in some cases even more so, and just as covered in people’s blood from head to toe as the ‘brutal monster and traitor’ Beria. What, however, sets him apart from the other scoundrels, that, apparently, Lavrenty Beria had progressive economical and political ideas. It appears, supported by various documental references, that he tried to implement these ideas and such radical reforms threatened the position of other scoundrels at the top leading to his downfall. We know what happened to USSR after that oaf Khruschev had taken over. I, for one, would like to know how the country and the world could turn out had Beria been successful getting his reforms through. It appears that Gorbachev had read Beria’s works too, but, while being a weaker man, Gorbachev’s reforms came 30 years too late. The opportunity to turn things around has been lost in 1945 and again in 1953… Sergo Beria says that his father was an unwilling scoundrel rather then a willing one. If you are not yet prepared to accept this, at least keep an open mind.