Top positive review
A Kaleidoscope of violence,evil and inhuman activity.
9 July 2017
I have already read 2 books on Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. These are, The Court of the Red Tsar and Young Stalin. Both are masterpieces and both have there fair share of Stalin's nefarious and manipulative activities. However nothing prepared me for Donald Rayfield's book. This is a gripping read but absolutely horrendous in subject matter. Starting off with a mini biography of Stalin's formative years, the book then goes into detail and coverage of Stalin's various acolytes and killers. Starting off with Dzierzynski and the Cheka, moving onto Ezhov and the nkvd, there seems to be an endless supply of nutters who come out of the woodwork when the former have been bumped off or sent to the gulag. I cannot understand how these individuals hung around, when they knew there time would soon be up. The catalogue of crimes,murder and tortures are appalling and Rayfield often shares his disgust but also, perhaps surprisingly manages to have a sense of humour at times. A truly essential read for anyone wanting to learn more about the puppet master and his machinations as well as his odious and vile followers.