• by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Narrated by John Nettles
  • 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

There have been many biographies of Stalin, but the court that surrounded him is untravelled ground. Simon Sebag Montefiore, acclaimed biographer of Catherine the Great's lover, prime minister, and general, Potemkin, has unearthed the vast underpinning that sustained Stalin. Not only ministers such as Molotov or secret service chiefs such as Beria, but men and women whose loyalty he trusted only until the next purge.


What the Critics Say

"A marvellously racy, gossipy study, based on immense research." (Evening Standard)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Communist, fascist an equality in monstrosity.

Stalin is a monster as deprave and human as Hitler was, they both loved the power and the implementation of their ideas more than humans or individuals.
“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?”
― Joseph Stalin
“Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem.”
― Joseph Stalin
We castigate anyone that wears a brown shirt and use the fascist salute but people still vote for people that consider this man a hero openly; they should be as shameful and repulsive as fascists, to believe in a system that wherever it has been imposed it has brought death and inequality in industrial levels, Communism is a dirty word smeared with death, blood and betrayal of the proletariat in the name of the state and Stalin was one of it prophets and disciples of death unashamedly so.

“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
― Joseph Stalin
“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
― Joseph Stalin
“People who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
― Joseph Stalin

And the perfect Orwellian example of doublethink:

“...[I]ron discipline does not preclude but presupposes criticism and contest of opinion within the Party. Least of all does it mean that discipline must be blind. On the contrary, iron discipline does not preclude but presupposes conscious and voluntary submission, for only conscious discipline can be truly iron discipline.”
― Joseph Stalin

This is a good book to put the first toe into a cold lake of blood and terror, a mild expose of evil and a restrained in its descriptions if anything it errs with Stalin into seeing it all too much as statistics and not crimes of individual horror.
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- Wras

Superb and horrifying biography

It is said that history is written by the victors of wars and certainly the crimes perpetrated by Stalin and his repressive regime took years to be revealed. I was aware that Stalin’s policies had caused the deaths of many millions of his citizens and that he easily equalled Hitler in his heinous crimes. However, this outstanding and engrossing biography of Stalin’s reign of terror was a revelation to me as it documented his extreme paranoia and at times bungling incompetence and how he got away with it by keeping his acolytes in a state of fear that they would too would be executed on trumped up charges. I hadn’t realised the sheer scale of reprisals against those who served with him and their families. It must have been a frightening time to be near this despot. It’s depressing that history keeps repeating itself and how how uncurbed power in the end corrupts.

The book is a great listen as pacy as a crime thriller and the narrator is good.
Highly recommended.
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- Kirstine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-04-2006
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited