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Young Stalin

Young Stalin

Paperback Phoenix

By (author) Simon Sebag Montefiore

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  • Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • Format: Paperback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 28mm | 600g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0753823799
  • ISBN 13: 9780753823798
  • Illustrations note: 74, 4 maps
  • Sales rank: 34,517

Product description

Winner of the Costa Biography Award What makes a Stalin? Was he a Tsarist agent or Lenin's bandit? Was he to blame for his wife's death? When did the killing start? Based on revelatory research, here is the thrilling story of how a charismatic cobbler's son became a student priest, romantic poet, prolific lover, gangster mastermind and murderous revolutionary. Culminating in the 1917 revolution, Simon Sebag Montefiore's bestselling biography radically alters our understanding of the gifted politician and fanatical Marxist who shaped the Soviet empire in his own brutal image. This is the story of how Stalin became Stalin.

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Author information

Simon Sebag Montefiore read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy. His books are published in over forty languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR won the History Book of the Year Prize, British Book Awards. YOUNG STALIN won the Costa Biography Award (UK), the LA Times Book Prize for Biography (USA), Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY won the Jewish Book of the Year Prize (USA). He is also the author of two acclaimed novels, SASHENKA and ONE NIGHT IN WINTER. Dr Montefiore's next major history book will be THE ROMANOVS: 1613-1917. He has presented BBC television series on the Holy Cities of Jerusalem, Rome and Istanbul. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Visiting Professor at Buckingham University, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. www.simonsebagmontefiore.com @simonmontefiore www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-Sebag-Montefiore

Review quote

Simon Sebag Montefiore's thrilling portrait of Stalin's youth ... A remarkable book ... Montefiore gives a brilliant account of the 1907 Tiflis heist ... the resulting scenes of mayhem were worthy of the De Niro and Pacino film HEAT -- Michael Burleigh Sunday Telegraph Should the life of a black-hearted ogre, a mass murderer ... be quite so entertaining? The story Montefiore has told requires the psychological penetration and social omniscience of a great novelist. Dickens once or twice peeps over the biographer's shoulder ... A racy, vivid biopic -- Peter Conrad Observer This picture of Stalin as a poet is one of the revelations of Simon Sebag Montefiore's macabrely fascinating YOUNG STALIN ... Stalin's life [is] worthy of Dumas ... Brilliantly drawn -- Antonia Fraser Mail on Sunday Magnificent ... YOUNG STALIN is a masterpiece of detail. Sebag Montefiore has unearthed documents long lost in Georgian archives, found the descendants of Soso's friends and produced a vivid psychological portrait of this dangerous, alluring, enigmatic man ... This book moves with pace and authority -- Michael Binyon The Times A gripping read... Simon Sebag Montefiore's research ... 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 -- Antony Beevor Daily Telegraph An outstanding book, full of surprises. A rich and complex figure emerges from the new material Sebag Montefiore has unearthed in archives ... This book is a triumph of research and storytelling -- Victor Sebestyen Evening Standard 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 ... this is as good as it gets -- Christopher Silvester Independent on Sunday Montefiore gives us a richly and fluently documented study of the chief terrorist in the making. His chapters have an anecdotal exuberance and factual novelty. It is an impressive work of examination -- Robert Service Sunday Times Familiar material is transformed with fresh depth and detail. While magnificently entertaining, it reveals the complexity of historical conditions that forge revolutions and their leaders -- Carol Rumens Independent Outstanding ... It is hard to imagine how this account can be improved on. The narrative flows with insight and humour: YOUNG STALIN is a prequel that outshines even THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR -- Donald Rayfield Literary Review An enthralling but appalling account ... The author writes with panache, style and acerbic wit ... Paints a portrait of Stalin which is the most rounded we have in any language. A mass of contradictions, he is brilliantly brought to life in this superb biography -- Martin McCauley History Today YOUNG STALIN, like its predecessor, bubbles over like an erupting volcano. A better metaphor might be a Siberian snowstorm: the details glitter, and freeze the blood -- Daniel Snowman Jewish Chronicle Full of fascinating nuggets ... A gripping but dark Boys' Own adventure, packed with bombs, violence and treachery Financial Times Magazine Montefiore is in a class of his own. As he did in STALIN: COURT OF THE RED TSAR, Montefiore has unearthed an unprecedented range of evidence from archives, and has tracked down an astonishing range of witnesses ... in this brilliantly researched book. The portrait of Stalin that emerges from these pages is more complete, more colourful, more chilling and far more convincing that any we have had before -- Orlando Figes New York Review of Books A dark and terrifying story, and there could be no better guide than Montefiore. He's uncovered a mind-blowing amount of material from archives in Moscow and Georgia. The ultimate effect of YOUNG STALIN is to create a haunting, meticulous and compelling story of a man well worth trying to understand -- Nicholas Thompson Los Angeles Times The most revelatory and scoop-laden biography I have read in ages, besides being a factual thriller -- Andrew Marr Observer Vividly written and exhaustively researched, this remarkable book gives new insight into the making of the monster who often emerges less as a steely ideologue than a repellent rogue - but more complex and multifaceted than before -- Colin Thubron Observer A gripping and convincing account of the web-toed monster from his earliest years -- Jonathan Mirsky Spectator Montefiore offers a portrait as chilling as it is intimate -- Ruth Scurr The Times Gripping. Montefiore approaches Stalin's early life with the insight of a novelist and the eye of a cinematographer and achieves a rare trick: a work of scholarship which is also a page turner -- Stephanie Merritt Observer