Stalin by Robert ServiceOverthrowing the conventional image of Stalin as an uneducated political administrator inexplicably transformed into a pathological killer, Robert Service reveals a more complex and fascinating story behind this notorious twentieth-century figure. Drawing on unexplored archives and personal testimonies gathered from across Russia and Georgia, this is the first full-scale biography of the Soviet dictator in twenty years.
Service describes in unprecedented detail the first half of Stalins life--his childhood in Georgia as the son of a violent, drunkard father and a devoted mother; his education and religious training; and his political activity as a young revolutionary. No mere messenger for Lenin, Stalin was a prominent activist long before the Russian Revolution. Equally compelling is the depiction of Stalin as Soviet leader. Service recasts the image of Stalin as unimpeded despot; his control was not limitless. And his conviction that enemies surrounded him was not entirely unfounded.
Stalin was not just a vengeful dictator but also a man fascinated by ideas and a voracious reader of Marxist doctrine and Russian and Georgian literature as well as an internationalist committed to seeing Russia assume a powerful role on the world stage. In examining the multidimensional legacy of Stalin, Service helps explain why later would-be reformers--such as Khrushchev and Gorbachev--found the Stalinist legacy surprisingly hard to dislodge.
Rather than diminishing the horrors of Stalinism, this is an account all the more disturbing for presenting a believable human portrait. Services lifetime engagement with Soviet Russia has resulted in the most comprehensive and compelling portrayal of Stalin to date.
10 Things You Should Know About Joseph Stalin
Initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals , by the s he was the country's de facto dictator. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism , Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism—Leninism , while his own policies are known as Stalinism.
18 Little Known Facts About Joseph Stalin
He oversaw the war machine that helped defeat Nazism and was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century. His regime of terror caused the death and suffering of tens of millions. But this powerful man began life as the son of an alcoholic cobbler and a doting mother who sent him to study to be a priest. He is born on 18 December in Gori, Georgia in the Russian empire. He is first named Iosif Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili.
Rise to power
One of the towering figures of the 20th century, things might have been very different for global politics had Stalin not been around. During his time as Soviet leader, he oversaw the Allied victory against Nazi Germany and the worsening of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. Here are 10 facts about him. Born into poverty in to an alcoholic cobbler father and washerwoman mother, Stalin caught smallpox at the age of seven and was left with pockmarks on his face and a slightly deformed left arm. He was bullied by other children while also enduring beatings at the hands of his father. He rebelled against studying scripture, however, instead reading the writings of Karl Marx and joining a local socialist group.
Joseph Stalin, or Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, is a man who, unfortunately, needs no introduction. Stalin was born into poverty at the tail-end of the 19 th century. He then began dragging Russia into the modern era with rapid industrialization, which inadvertently sparked a famine that killed millions, before putting his famed Red Army to work defeating the Nazis. There are some facts, however, that are not as widely discussed. He was a man deeply in love with the arts, who had desires for a more spiritual profession, and had dreams of leading an army of mutant half-human hybrids. Joseph Stalin committed atrocities, but that does not make him a one-dimensional human.