Here is Stalin the supreme dictator in the making - his psychology, his loves and hatreds, his intellectual interests, his knowledge of the world - learning how to triumph in the Kremlin and create the USSR in his profoundly flawed image.
Based on exhaustive research and astonishing new evidence, Young Stalin is a brilliant prehistory of the USSR from the perspective of those who would bring it into being.
©2007 Simon Sebag Montefiore; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"On practically every page of Young Stalin there is a reason to smile with satisfaction at the thrust of revelation and often a reason to gasp or even to chuckle. As quasi-academic populist biography goes, therefore, this is as good as it gets." (Independent)
"Young Stalin is a gripping read....Montefiore's research, especially in the Georgian archives, is brilliant. The book provides a wealth of serious and scurrilous detail, creating a memorable portrait of one of the 20th century's greatest monsters." (Telegraph)
Jumps on his bed while licking the bottom of one foot. He persists in this life affirming act despite interference from the head nurse.
This is an excellent book, perhaps even better than Montefiore's In the Court of the Red Tsar. It is surprising so many details of Stalin's life as a young revolutionary survived the ordered destruction of his personal history. Georgia was distant enough from Moscow that first person memoirs, letters, and documents survived destruction, setting in forgotten drawers. The reader/listener gets an amazingly detailed account of Stalin the prodigy, teenaged poet, under-sized street fighter, angry seminary student reading Karl Marx, the quirky promiscuous rebel with multiple children born out of wedlock, the organizer of bank robberies and extortions to fund the revolution, the intellectual who read every book he got his hands on, and finally the indispensable (to Lenin anyway) behind-the-scenes political manipulator. Much in the book runs against what was accepted in the West about his life for decades. Despite his small stature, for example, he gave and received physical beatings yet was an exceptional child in nearly every school subject. Not enough praise can be given the narrator, James Adams, for his breezy handling of difficult Georgian and Russian words and names—he does an exemplary job. This listener highly recommends this book for history buffs, Stalin buffs, and students of the period.
Now that the subject is so far past as Napoleon, the young Stalin emerges as an unexpetedly lively person, resembling the thug-rappers on recent American experience (tho he has a better voice), but our thugs are nowhere so bold as to rob our national banks. Everywhere Stalin goes, he gets laid, even in Siberia.
This book is an absolute delight! Very informative, unbiased, a clear approach of how the muderer we call Stalin came to be, and how he matured into his image. It turns out, he's much more than a ruthless thug, rather an extremely intelligent fox-like persona, who Lenin himself at times yielded to.
2 thumbs up!
For history buffs, this book is invaluable, but it reads like a long list of names, dates, and events (and then....and then....and then....), and it's impossible to keep track of all the names (and multiple variations on all the names). I mistakenly thought Young Stalin was a fictionalization of real events and would read more like a novel. I wish I'd been right.
Absolutely no historic value. You will not be able to follow the story, horrible pronunciation of names and terrible waste of time and money. Ignorant and weak facts and at best a failed novel. Again it's impossible to understand or follow!!!
Engineer in St Louis, Missouri, United States
If you want to know something about the Bolsheviks prior to taking power, read this book. It is also interesting to see how Stalin is not really a European and how far from an academic sphere Stalin actually was.
Offers a much deeper humanistic look into who Stalin was.
Stalin for his ability to change, agitate, manipulate and steal. He was a magician and brilliant actor and that isn't something that gets noticed, All is said is his atrocities and this book shows the talented human being behind the history.
Solid, eloquent and engaging.
Too long for one sitting and also too rich, I am going to listen to that last few chapters during the revolution as I had fallen off and want to reengage with it.
I might to catch up on chatpers I might have missed.
Knowing who was who in Stalin's life.
I liked the whole thing honestly.
NOt really, but I had no idea Joseph was such a womanizer.
A must have for any history fan.
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