With ten years of meticulous research from newly-opened archives, Montefiore has written four hundred-sixty pages, including forty-four of source notes, seven of bibliography, six of
acknowledgments, and thirty-two of photographs. What could have been a tedious task to read is instead, as described by many notable reviewers, "gripping, brilliant, and astonishing."
Young Stalin superbly achieves the author's intention: to show the development and early maturity of the ultimate politician. What missing empathy in Stalin's upbringing allowed him to kill so easily, but equally what qualities equipped him so well for political life? Stalin's success was at least partly due to his unusual upbringing that combined a seminary education and street violence; he was that rare combination of intellectual and killer, "half Osama bin Laden, half Tony Soprano .... incredibly complex and ...
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