Paul Johnson, the most celebrated popular historian of our time, takes a scalpel to Stalin, whom he considers one of the outstanding monsters of history. Johnson sets forth the essence of Stalin's life, character, and career. It has been a hateful task, which has caused me much pain and disgust, he writes with characteristic candor. But it has been a duty I have performed not without a certain grim satisfaction. Stalin poses a particular challenge to a biographer: How does one render such a monster human? While Johnson doesn't flinch from chronicling Stalin's rise to absolute power ? the remorseless vendetta against Leon Trotsky, the development of the Gulag, the extermination of millions of peasants ? he also shows Stalin playing billiards, listening to his adored Mozart, and annotating Marx's Capital in the margins. It is, in concise form, the story of Russia in the twentieth century: dark and murderous, a stage on which to display humanity's infinite capacity for self-destruction.
Format: Audio CD
Published: 25th March 2014
Dimensions (cm): 18.8 x 13.7 x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.09