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Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar | [Simon Sebag Montefiore]

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar

There have been many biographies of Stalin, but the court that surrounded him is untravelled ground. Simon Sebag Montefiore, acclaimed biographer of Catherine the Great's lover, prime minister, and general, Potemkin, has unearthed the vast underpinning that sustained Stalin. Not only ministers such as Molotov or secret service chiefs such as Beria, but men and women whose loyalty he trusted only until the next purge.
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Publisher's Summary

There have been many biographies of Stalin, but the court that surrounded him is untravelled ground. Simon Sebag Montefiore, acclaimed biographer of Catherine the Great's lover, prime minister, and general, Potemkin, has unearthed the vast underpinning that sustained Stalin. Not only ministers such as Molotov or secret service chiefs such as Beria, but men and women whose loyalty he trusted only until the next purge.

©2003 Simon Sebag Montefiore; (P)2004 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"A marvellously racy, gossipy study, based on immense research." (Evening Standard)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (21 )
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  •  
    Robert Port Elizabeth, South Africa 05-30-11
    Robert Port Elizabeth, South Africa 05-30-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    12
    10
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    0
    1
    Overall
    "Must know"

    The horror of the Soviet Union under Stalin is something that must be made known. This book has done a lot to bring this reality to the fore. My only criticism is that this is an abridged version and in some ways seemed a bit disjointed. John Nettles renders a good narrative and I will certainly be encouraged to listen to anything else he might read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kellyanne Clayfield, Australia 11-28-10
    Kellyanne Clayfield, Australia 11-28-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Truly enjoyable"

    I have been listening to this for about 6 hours and am finding it thoroughly enjoyable. The story is woven so as to include both descriptions of Stalin's actions and psyche, as well as those of the individuals surrounding him and the historical period in which they all lived. The result is a rich narrative that really brings the listener (or reader) into that period. Be warned that it is just that, a narrative.

    The problem of course is that names of soviet 'celebrities' are thrown about as if the listener is already acquainted with them. Luckily I know most of the names, but I can imagine the story could get unwieldy for those without some background knowledge. Having read any general text on Stalin's rule should serve that purpose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Pelham, Thailand 10-29-08
    Neil Pelham, Thailand 10-29-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    40
    11
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    Overall
    "Disappointing---apparently poor abridgement"

    I had read excellent reviews of the book, but was disappointed with this audiobook. The historical material is very interesting and it is excellently read. The problem is that the narrative is rambling and disjointed. Since the book is so well rated, this appears to be a problem with the abridgement. Save your money and wait for an unabridged version!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike MOunt TamborineAustralia 09-05-08
    Mike MOunt TamborineAustralia 09-05-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Babble"

    This audiobok has NO structure - I mean no Chapters that dissect it by topic or time. Consequently it quickly becomes just a stream of words many of which are (inevitably) meaningless. This lack of structure unfortunately turns an otherwise excellent Narrator (John Nettles) into something like a software translator.
    I do not recommend it to anyone

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Inge A AmotNorway 09-04-07
    Inge A AmotNorway 09-04-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    120
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "Evil Empire"

    This book made me think about what Reagan used to refer to as the evil empire.

    A lesson in random lunacy put to work, based on excellent research.You wished this was fiction only.

    An exciting wellwritten book keeping your attention all the way through.

    5 stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David LLandudnoUnited Kingdom 06-21-06
    David LLandudnoUnited Kingdom 06-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    5
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    "A very interesting tale"

    I'm not really a history or war buff but this had me fixed. The reader helps to keep the pace going.

    I enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Susan
    londonUnited Kingdom
    9/26/08
    Overall
    "s"

    A vivid and interesting biography.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Luke
    Pencader, Carms, United Kingdom
    6/1/08
    Overall
    "V good"

    Great and informative book on a subject I know very little about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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