Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore
The Court of the Red Tsar

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Synopsis

This widely acclaimed biography provides a vivid and riveting account of Stalin and his courtiers—killers, fanatics, women, and children—during the terrifying decades of his supreme power. In a seamless meshing of exhaustive research and narrative ?lan, Simon Sebag Montefiore gives us the everyday details of a monstrous life.We see Stalin playing his deadly game of power and paranoia at debauched dinners at Black Sea villas and in the apartments of the Kremlin. We witness first-hand how the dictator and his magnates carried out the Great Terror and the war against the Nazis, and how their families lived in this secret world of fear, betrayal, murder, and sexual degeneracy. Montefiore gives an unprecedented understanding of Stalin’s dictatorship, and a Stalin as human and complicated as he is brutal.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Simon Sebag Montefiore

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Simon Sebag Montefiore read history at Cambridge University. His books have been published in more than thirty-five languages. Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper and Marsh Biography prizes in Britain. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar was awarded the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards. Young Stalin won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, the Costa Biography Award (U.K.), le Grand Prix de la biographie politique (France) and the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Montefiore lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 850 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Yet there were some curious blind spots in Stalin’s total state, as well as in his understanding of the world: for all the evidence to the contrary, for instance, he could not believe that Hitler was planning an invasion of the Soviet Union, growling, “Germany will never fight Russia on her own” ...

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The New York Times

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Sebag Montefiore never delves into Stalin’s transformation, though he does make the interesting observation that the czar’s secret police “may have failed to prevent the Russian revolution, but they were so successful in poisoning revolutionary minds that, 30 years after the fall of the czars, th...

Nov 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

The New York Times

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Mr. Montefiore notes, shrewdly, that “everything with Stalin was political, but he worked in an eccentric, structureless, unbureaucratic, almost bohemian style that would not have succeeded in any other government, then or now.” Mr. Montefiore successfully captures “the sheer weird singularity o...

Oct 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

The Guardian

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Deda Ena - the popular children's anthology of Georgian verse - included Stalin's first published poem, "Morning", in its 1916 edition, where it remained (sometimes ascribed to Stalin, sometimes not) up to the days of Brezhnev.

May 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

The Guardian

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Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore 496pp, Weidenfeld, £25 Psychological profiling is big business these days.

Jun 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

The Guardian

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Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore Weidenfeld & Nicolson £25, pp496 Should the life of a black-hearted ogre, a mass murderer who was the wickedest of the 20th-century's monsters, be quite so entertaining?

May 13 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

The Guardian

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Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore 693pp, Weidenfeld, £25 Simon Sebag Montefiore's book is gripping and timely.

Jul 19 2003 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

The Guardian

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Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore Weidenfeld & Nicholson £25, pp693 Because I want to retain my faith in human nature, I would like to believe that Stalin and his henchmen were all clinically insane.

Jul 20 2003 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

Publishers Weekly

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Russian historian and author Montefiore presents an exciting, exemplary biography of the nondescript peasant boy who would become the most ruthless leader in Soviet history, a prequel of sorts to his Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar.

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The Bookbag

Summary: A biography overing the early life of arguably one of the most evil persons in history within our generation, that goes a long way towards helping the reader understand how he became the man he did, and a book likely to remain essential reading on its subject for some years to come.

Nov 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

San Francisco Chronicle

In "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar," published in 2003 to international acclaim, British historian and novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore presented a macabre and revealing portrait of the private world of the Soviet dictator during his years in power.

Nov 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

PopMatters

More chilling, however, is the evidence that Stalin allowed some of the most revered anti-Soviet artists of the day to survive successive bloody purges—here we see that despite the Soviet party line, Stalin the man had the almost unimaginable aesthetic sense to see that geniuses such as Anna Akhm...

Feb 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

London Review of Books

‘The underground was his natural habitat, through which he moved with elusively feline grace – and menace.’ The new preoccupations of Young Stalin have to do with Stalin as a man of the Caucasus (and, more specifically, a Caucasian gangster), his early promise as a Georgian poet, and his activiti...

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The Moderate Voice

Personally, I believe that readers would benefit more if the book were written in a memoir like style because as is, reading this book will give the reader lots of facts about Stalin but not really an ‘in’ to the man.

Nov 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

World War II Database

Before Joseph Stalin took on the name of Joseph Stalin, he was Ioseb Jughashvili, son of a cobbler from Georgia in the southern frontiers of the Russian Empire.

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Stalin: The Court of the Red ...

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