The Autobiography of Joseph Stalin: A Novel
Richard LourieISBN: 0306809974;
Chilling and mesmerizing, Louries novel traces the Russian dictators life from childhood to the apex of his career, exploring the diabolical nuances of Stalins psychology. The USSR dictator narrates, in a grim and relentless voice, often referring to himself in the third person (Stalin needs peace for terror). His first words, Leon Trotsky is trying to kill me, reveal the fury and incipient dementia of his reaction to the news that his nemesis Trotsky, whom he has driven into exile in Mexico, is writing a biography of his former revolutionist comrade. Indignantly comparing Trotskys libelous biography to his own egotistical version, and ostensibly refuting Trotskys account, Stalin reveals the origins of his criminal mind and the extent to which he has indulged his murderous instincts. From the beatings he suffered at his fathers hands, Stalin learned the perverse power and effectiveness of psychological detachment and physical cruelty. From Darwin he ecstatically gleans that there is...
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