Length: 976 Pages
The magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world
In January 1928 Stalin, the ruler of the largest country in the world, boarded a train bound for Siberia where he would embark upon the greatest gamble of his political life. He was about to begin the largest programme of social reengineering ever attempted: the root-and-branch uprooting and collectivization of agriculture and industry across the entire Soviet Union. Millions would die, and many more would suffer. How did Stalin get to this point? Where did such great, monstrous power come from?
The first of three volumes, the product of a decade of scrupulous and intrepid research, this landmark book offers the most convincing portrait and explanation yet of Stalin's power, and of Russian power in the world. The book is as much about the Russia that Stalin inherits and reshapes as about the man himself. It gives a brilliantly nuanced picture of the sequence of catastrophes that disposed of the social structures, armies, rivals and close colleagues that should have stood in Stalin's way, as he emerged from obscurity to shoulder the terrifying responsibility of upholding Russian power in the world.
Length: 976 Pages
In its size, sweep, sensitivity, and surprises, Stephen Kotkin's first volume on Stalin is a monumental achievement: the early life of a man we thought we knew, set against the world - no less - that he inhabited. It's biography on an epic scale. Only Tolstoy might have matched it
Stalin has had more than his fair share of biographies. But Stephen Kotkin's wonderfully broad-gauged work surpasses them all in both breadth and depth, showing brilliantly how the man, the time, the place, its history, and especially Russian/Soviet political culture, combined to produce one of history's greatest evil geniuses
Stephen Kotkin's first volume on Stalin is ambitious in conception and masterly in execution ... combines biography with historical analysis in a way that brings out clearly Stalin's great political talents as well as the ruthlessness with which he applied them and the impact his policies had on Russia and the world. This is a magisterial work on the grandest scale
Stephen Kotkin's biography of Stalin, of which this but the first of three volumes, is a most impressive achievement. Based on both archival and printed sources, it treats in meticulous detail the early years of a tyrant who was destined to become one of the most influential political figures of the twentieth century