Simon Sebag Montefiore's STALIN received rave reviews, sold over 50,000 copies in hardback and 170,000 in paperback in the UK Based on hitherto unavailable souce materials in Russia Young Stalin is being filmed by Film 4/Miramax - the director is Pawlikowski 'A gripping read...the book provides a wealth of serious and scurrilous detail, creating a memorable portrait of one of the 20th century's greatest monsters' Antony Beevor, Daily Telegraph 'The story Montefiore has told requires the psychological penetration and social omniscience of a great novelist. Dickens once or twice peeps over the biographer's shoulder' Peter Conrad, Observer 'This picture of Stalin as a young poet is one of the revelations of Simon Sebag Montefiore's macabrely fascinating Young Stalin' Antonia Fraser, Mail on Sunday 'Simon Sebag Montefiore's thrilling portrait of Stalin's youth' Michael Burleigh, Sunday Telegraph 'What Montefiore gives us is a richly and fluently documented study of the chief terrorist in the making' Robert Service, Sunday Times
Simon Sebag Montefiore's books are international bestsellers in 27 languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. STALIN won the History Book of the Year Prize at the 2004 British Book Awards. Montefiore is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, novelist, and TV presenter, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. He is now writing JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY.
We know him as Stalin, or Josef Stalin, but before he settled on this alias he had at least a dozen others, including Koba and Soso. His youthful friends were responsible for most of his monikers, which were sometimes taken of necessity to escape from the Okhrana (secret police) and the local police. No book published in the last 100 years goes into as much detail about the youthful Stalin as Montefiore's does. Unlike Sarah Davies and James Harris's Stalin: A New History, which has a 25-page chapter covering Stalin's youth, Montefiore (Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar) uses many newly available archival records from Stalin's peers to greatly amplify information on the man's early years and his growing attachment to the revolutionary movement. Stalin's early experiences shaped his paranoia for the rest of his life, and his revolutionary experiences reinforced it. Montefiore says, "The machine of repression, the flinthearted, paranoid psychology of perpetual conspiracy and the taste for extreme bloody solutions to all challenges were not just accidents, but glamorized and institutionalized. He was patron of these brutal tendencies but also their personification." Montefiore goes on to refute the notion that Stalin was a double agent of the Okhrana and that he "missed the revolution," ideas that his detractors formulated from flimsy evidence. This accessible book is highly recommended for academic and public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/07.]-Harry Willems, Park City P.L., KS Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
'this terrific and terrifying biography of the years to 1917.' THE INDEPENDENT 'It shares with its predecessor (STALIN THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR) the virtues of fine prose, empathy with a rich range of characters and narrative of great ability.' Ross Leckie, THE TIMES 'brilliantly readable history of Stalin...Sebag Montefiore's re-creation of the world in which his subject's picaresque career unfolded is wonderfully detailed and convincing, and the portrait he paints of an egotistical monster in the making is unforgettable.' Pick of the Week in THE SUNDAY TIMES 'this lively and accomplished account of Stalin's "gangsterish", pre-revolutionary youth, which draws on material from newly opened archives.' THE GUARDIAN 'bring[ing] to life the unnerving 'young man with the burning eyes" THE OBSERVER 'This colourful account...is a gripping read as well as faultlessly scholarly' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'this zippy prequel' EVENING STANDARD 'gripping account... An excellent companion to Montefiore's previous bestseller' BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE 'a thrilling portrait of Lenin's chief gangster and successor.' DAILY EXPRESS