This revelatory account unveils how Stalin became Stalin, examining his shadowy journey from obscurity to power--from master historian Simon Sebag Montefiore.Based on ten years of research, Young Stalin--companion to the prizewinning Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar--is a brilliant prehistory of the USSR, a chronicle of the Revolution, and an intimate biography. Montefiore tells the story of a charismatic, darkly turbulent boy born into poverty, scarred by his upbringing but possessed of unusual talents. Admired as a romantic poet and trained as a priest, he found his true mission as a murderous revolutionary. Here is the dramatic story of his friendships and hatreds, his many love affairs, his complicated relationship with the Tsarist secret police, and how he became the merciless politician who shaped the Soviet Empire in his own brutal image. Described by The New York Times as "a meticulously researched, autoritative biography," Young Stalin is essential reading for anyone interested in Russian history.
Winner of the Costa Book Award for Biography
A Christian Science Monitor and Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
The Marquis de Custine's record of his trip to Russia in 1839 is a brilliantly perceptive, even prophetic, account of one of the world's most fascinating and troubled countries. It is also a wonderful piece of travel writing. Custine, who met with people in all walks of life, including the Czar himself, offers vivid descriptions of St. Petersburg and Moscow, of life at court and on the street, and of the impoverished Russian countryside. But together with a wealth of sharply delineated incident and detail, Custine's great work also presents an indelible picture--roundly denounced by both Czarist and Communist regimes--of a country crushed by despotism and "intoxicated with slavery."Letters from Russia, here published in a new edition prepared by Anka Muhlstein, the author of the Goncourt Prize-winning biography of Custine, stands with Tocqueville's Democracy in America as a profound and passionate encounter with historical forces that are still very much at work in the world today.
During the seventy years of Soviet communism, after Lenin and Stalin no person occupied a higher position over a longer period of time than V. M. Molotov. Lenin and Stalin left no memoirs; now we have Molotov Remembers. These memoirs, in the form of conversations with the poet-biographer Felix Chuev over seventeen years before Molotov's death in 1986, offer an incomparable view of the politics of Soviet society and the nature of Kremlin leadership under communism. Beginning with his early revolutionary activities, Molotov recounts his comradeship with Lenin, the Bolshevik seizure of power, and the perilous years of Soviet rule. First at Lenin's then at Stalin's right hand, premier and then foreign minister, he offers startling insights into the New Economic Policy; the collectivization of peasant farms and the liquidation of the kulaks; the repression of "counterrevolutionaries" in the late 1930s; the making of the Nazi-Soviet pact; World War II diplomacy with the Allies; the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe; and the rise and fall of Khrushchev. His portraits of an indomitable Lenin; a crafty, brutal, and ultimately paranoiac Stalin; and a host of other Soviet leaders are indelibly drawn from firsthand experience. Molotov Remembers is not only a major publishing event but a historical source of the highest order, throwing fight on the politics and psychology of the most influential episode of the twentieth century.
For three centuries--beginning with the accession of Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov in 1613--the Romanov Dynasty ruled Russia.Its reign ended with the execution of Nicholas II and Alexandra in the early 20th century.Noted Russian scholar W. Bruce Lincoln has brilliantly portrayed the achievement, significance and high drama of the Dynasty as no previous book has done.His use of rare archival materials has allowed him to present a portrait of the Romanovs based on their own writings and those of the men and women who knew them."
Baroness Maria Ignatievna Zakrevskaya Benckendorff Budberg hailed from the Russian aristocracy and lived in the lap of luxury--until the Bolshevik Revolution forced her to live by her wits. Thereafter her existence was a story of connivance and stratagem, a succession of unlikely twists and turns. Intimately involved in the mysterious Lockhart affair, a conspiracy which almost brought down the fledgling Soviet state, mistress to Maxim Gorky and then to H.G. Wells, Moura was a woman of enormous energy, intelligence, and charm whose deepest passion was undoubtedly the mythologization of her own life.Recognized as one of the great masters of Russian twentieth-century fiction, Nina Berberova here proves again that she is the unsurpassed chronicler of the lives of Soviet migr s. In Moura Budberg, a woman who shrouded the facts of her life in fiction, Berberova finds the ideal material from which to craft a triumph of literary portraiture, a book as engaging and as full of life and incident as any one of her celebrated novels.
Russian playwright and historian Radzinsky mines sources never before available to create a fascinating portrait of the monarch, and a minute-by-minute account of his terrifying last days. Updated For The Paperback Edition, From the Trade Paperback edition.
This bitter war between Russia and Turkey, aided by Britain and France, was the setting for the stuff of legends. This book details the gallant yet suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade, now immortalised in film: in the words of Tennyson, 'Into the Valley of Death rode the Six Hundred'. It relates the reports made by the first real war correspondant, William Russell of the London Times - reports which served only to highlight the army's problems - and memorialises the heroic deeds of Florence Nightingale, who struggled to save young men from the most formidable enemy in the Crimean War: not the Russians, but cholera.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine's family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies--all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life. " A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman."--Newsweek
"An absorbing, satisfying biography."--Los Angeles Times "Juicy and suspenseful."--The New York Times Book Review
"A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told."--Salon
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times - The Washington Post - USA Today - The Boston Globe - San Francisco Chronicle - Chicago Tribune - Newsweek/The Daily Beast - Salon - Vogue - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - The Providence Journal - Washington Examiner - South Florida Sun-Sentinel - BookPage - Bookreporter - Publishers Weekly
King looks at how Stalin manipulated the science of photography to further his own political career and to erase the memory of his victims. In each case, the juxtaposition of original and doctored images reveals how easily history can be distorted.