Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Young Stalin

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Young Stalin

by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Young Stalin
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2007, 496 pages
    Oct 2008, 528 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Vy Armour

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Beyond the Book

Little Known Facts About Stalin

  • Born Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili in 1878, Stalin had as many as forty names, nicknames, bylines and aliases throughout his life. He did not start to use the name Stalin, meaning man of steel, until 1912.
  • Stalin began writing poetry while at school (mainly in a romantic-pastoral style that was the convention for Georgian poets in the 1890s), and continued to write until his death at age 74 in 1953. The dictator was also a keen gardener, growing lemons, tomatoes, roses and mimosas.
  • Hitler and Stalin both had abusive fathers.
  • Stalin's wife, Nayda, committed suicide at age 31 (1932) and son, Yakov, committed suicide at age 36 (1943).
  • In his early years, Stalin often avoided arrest for bank robberies by dressing in drag. In 1913 a secret policeman spotted Stalin's big shoes under a long dress, resulting in four years exile in Siberia, where winter lasts nine months a year with temperatures as ...

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