Stalin remains one of the creators of our world - like Hitler, the personification of evil. Yet Stalin hid his past and remains mysterious. This biography that reads like a thriller finally unveils the secret but extraordinary journey of the Georgian cobbler's son who became the Red Tsar. What forms such a merciless psychopath and consummate politician? Was he illegitimate? If he really missed the 1917 Revolution, how did he emerge so powerful? Born in poverty, exceptional in his studies, this charismatic but dangerous boy was hailed as a romantic poet, trained as a priest, but found his mission as fanatical revolutionary. The secret world of Joseph Conrad-style terrorism was Stalin's natural habitat, where he charmed his future courtiers, made the enemies he later liquidated, and abandoned his many mistresses and children. Montefiore shows how the murderous paranoia and gangsterism of the criminal underworld, combined with pitiless ideology, taught Stalin how to triumph in the Kremlin.
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
Simon Sebag Montefiore, geb. 1965, studierte Geschichte in Cambridge. In den neunziger Jahren unternahm er ausgedehnte Reisen in die ehemalige Sowjetunion, besonders in den Kaukasus, die Ukraine und Zentralasien. Er lebt in London.