Young Stalin (English Edition) und über 1,5 Millionen weitere Bücher verfügbar für Amazon Kindle. Erfahren Sie mehr
EUR 11,95
  • Alle Preisangaben inkl. MwSt.
Nur noch 3 auf Lager (mehr ist unterwegs).
Verkauf und Versand durch Amazon.
Geschenkverpackung verfügbar.
Young Stalin ist in Ihrem Einkaufwagen hinzugefügt worden
Ihren Artikel jetzt
eintauschen und
EUR 0,10 Gutschein erhalten.
Möchten Sie verkaufen?
Zur Rückseite klappen Zur Vorderseite klappen
Anhören Wird wiedergegeben... Angehalten   Sie hören eine Probe der Audible-Audioausgabe.
Weitere Informationen
Dieses Bild anzeigen

Young Stalin (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Mai 2008

Alle 16 Formate und Ausgaben anzeigen Andere Formate und Ausgaben ausblenden
Amazon-Preis Neu ab Gebraucht ab
Kindle Edition
"Bitte wiederholen"
"Bitte wiederholen"
EUR 11,95
EUR 9,02 EUR 0,79
63 neu ab EUR 9,02 24 gebraucht ab EUR 0,79

Wird oft zusammen gekauft

Young Stalin + Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar + Gulag: A History
Preis für alle drei: EUR 37,63

Die ausgewählten Artikel zusammen kaufen
Jeder kann Kindle Bücher lesen — selbst ohne ein Kindle-Gerät — mit der KOSTENFREIEN Kindle App für Smartphones, Tablets und Computer.


  • Taschenbuch: 442 Seiten
  • Verlag: Phoenix (1. Mai 2008)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0753823799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753823798
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 3,2 x 19,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 54.085 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

Mehr über den Autor

Entdecken Sie Bücher, lesen Sie über Autoren und mehr



Simon Sebag Montefiore's thrilling portrait of Stalin's youth ... A remarkable book ... Montefiore gives a brilliant account of the 1907 Tiflis heist ... the resulting scenes of mayhem were worthy of the De Niro and Pacino film HEAT -- Michael Burleigh Sunday Telegraph Should the life of a black-hearted ogre, a mass murderer ... be quite so entertaining? 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 ... A racy, vivid biopic -- Peter Conrad Observer This picture of Stalin as a poet is one of the revelations of Simon Sebag Montefiore's macabrely fascinating YOUNG STALIN ... Stalin's life [is] worthy of Dumas ... Brilliantly drawn -- Antonia Fraser Mail on Sunday Magnificent ... YOUNG STALIN is a masterpiece of detail. Sebag Montefiore has unearthed documents long lost in Georgian archives, found the descendants of Soso's friends and produced a vivid psychological portrait of this dangerous, alluring, enigmatic man ... This book moves with pace and authority -- Michael Binyon The Times A gripping read... Simon Sebag Montefiore's research ... is brilliant. 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 An outstanding book, full of surprises. A rich and complex figure emerges from the new material Sebag Montefiore has unearthed in archives ... This book is a triumph of research and storytelling -- Victor Sebestyen Evening Standard On practically every page of YOUNG STALIN, there is a reason to smile with satisfaction at the thrust of revelation, and often a reason to gasp or even to chuckle. As quasi-academic populist biography goes ... this is as good as it gets -- Christopher Silvester Independent on Sunday Montefiore gives us a richly and fluently documented study of the chief terrorist in the making. His chapters have an anecdotal exuberance and factual novelty. It is an impressive work of examination -- Robert Service Sunday Times Familiar material is transformed with fresh depth and detail. While magnificently entertaining, it reveals the complexity of historical conditions that forge revolutions and their leaders -- Carol Rumens Independent Outstanding ... It is hard to imagine how this account can be improved on. The narrative flows with insight and humour: YOUNG STALIN is a prequel that outshines even THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR -- Donald Rayfield Literary Review An enthralling but appalling account ... The author writes with panache, style and acerbic wit ... Paints a portrait of Stalin which is the most rounded we have in any language. A mass of contradictions, he is brilliantly brought to life in this superb biography -- Martin McCauley History Today YOUNG STALIN, like its predecessor, bubbles over like an erupting volcano. A better metaphor might be a Siberian snowstorm: the details glitter, and freeze the blood -- Daniel Snowman Jewish Chronicle Full of fascinating nuggets ... A gripping but dark Boys' Own adventure, packed with bombs, violence and treachery Financial Times Magazine Montefiore is in a class of his own. As he did in STALIN: COURT OF THE RED TSAR, Montefiore has unearthed an unprecedented range of evidence from archives, and has tracked down an astonishing range of witnesses ... in this brilliantly researched book. The portrait of Stalin that emerges from these pages is more complete, more colourful, more chilling and far more convincing that any we have had before -- Orlando Figes New York Review of Books A dark and terrifying story, and there could be no better guide than Montefiore. He's uncovered a mind-blowing amount of material from archives in Moscow and Georgia. The ultimate effect of YOUNG STALIN is to create a haunting, meticulous and compelling story of a man well worth trying to understand -- Nicholas Thompson Los Angeles Times The most revelatory and scoop-laden biography I have read in ages, besides being a factual thriller -- Andrew Marr Observer Vividly written and exhaustively researched, this remarkable book gives new insight into the making of the monster who often emerges less as a steely ideologue than a repellent rogue - but more complex and multifaceted than before -- Colin Thubron Observer A gripping and convincing account of the web-toed monster from his earliest years -- Jonathan Mirsky Spectator Montefiore offers a portrait as chilling as it is intimate -- Ruth Scurr The Times Gripping. Montefiore approaches Stalin's early life with the insight of a novelist and the eye of a cinematographer and achieves a rare trick: a work of scholarship which is also a page turner -- Stephanie Merritt Observer


Stalin remains one of the creators of our world - like Hitler, the personification of evil. Yet Stalin hid his past and remains mysterious. This enthralling biography that reads like a thriller finally unveils the secret but extraordinary journey of the Georgian cobbler's son who became the Red Tsar. What forms such a merciless psychopath and consummate politician? Was he illegitimate? Did he owe everything to his mother - was she whore or saint? Was he a Tsarist agent or Lenin's chief gangster? Was he to blame for his wife's premature death? If he really missed the 1917 Revolution, how did he emerge so powerful? Born in poverty, exceptional in his studies, this charismatic but dangerous boy was hailed as a romantic poet, trained as a priest, but found his mission as fanatical revolutionary. The secret world of Joseph Conrad-style terrorism was Stalin's natural habitat, where he charmed his future courtiers, made the enemies he later liquidated, and abandoned his many mistresses and children. Montefiore shows how the murderous paranoia and gangsterism of the criminal underworld, combined with pitiless ideology, taught Stalin how to triumph in the Kremlin.

Welche anderen Artikel kaufen Kunden, nachdem sie diesen Artikel angesehen haben?

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis | Rückseite
Hier reinlesen und suchen:


4.5 von 5 Sternen
5 Sterne
4 Sterne
3 Sterne
2 Sterne
1 Sterne
Beide Kundenrezensionen anzeigen
Sagen Sie Ihre Meinung zu diesem Artikel

Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Mario Pf. HALL OF FAME REZENSENTTOP 500 REZENSENT am 12. August 2008
Format: Taschenbuch
Befasst man sich mit den bedeutendsten Gestalten der Weltgeschichte wird man zuallererst immer einen Blick auf die großen Errungenschaften, Verbrechen und Glanzzeiten einer Karriere. Doch viel interessanter als sich mit den Taten am Höhepunkt der Macht zu beschäftigen, ist es vom Werdegang eines solchen Menschen zu erfahren, zu einem Zeitpunkt wo dieser noch weit von der späteren Außergewöhnlichkeit entfernt war. Und man entdeckt vielleicht nicht wenige menschliche Schwächen mit denen man sich selbst identifizieren kann, man erkennt den Menschen dahinter, der durch Glück und Talent schließlich seinen Weg in die Geschichtsbücher gefunden hat.

Am 6. Dezember 1878 geboren, war Josef Wissarionowitsch Dschugaschwili (Spitzname Sosso) ein kränkliches Baby und schwebte in Gefahr wie seine 2 Brüder vor ihm bereits nach wenigen Monaten einen plötzlichen Tod zu sterben, doch er überlebte. Nichts deutete darauf hin, dass der Sohn eines Schuhmachers eines Tages den Namen Stalin annehmen und das Schicksal Europas mitbestimmen würde. Stalins Weg zur Macht von 1878 bis 1917 hat Simon Sebag Montefiore (The Court of the Red Tsar) in seiner mittlerweile zweiten Stalin-Biografie nachgezeichnet. Sie endet dort, wo "The Court of the Red Tsar" beginnt und das heisst direkt in den Wirren der sowjetischen Machtergreifung und Stalins Aufstieg im Zentralkomitee.

Es gibt viele Bücher über Adolf Hitlers Leben, Lebensstationen und -abschnitte, doch gerade seinem Erzfeind, dessen Stalinsche Säuberungen je nach Zählung zwischen 9 und 20 Millionen Opfer gefordert haben blieb die zweifelhafte Ehre einer Biografie über seine Jugendjahre bisher verwehrt.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
2 Kommentare War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich? Ja Nein Feedback senden...
Vielen Dank für Ihr Feedback. Wenn diese Rezension unangemessen ist, informieren Sie uns bitte darüber.
Wir konnten Ihre Stimmabgabe leider nicht speichern. Bitte erneut versuchen
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Robin am 22. Januar 2012
Format: Taschenbuch
Auf der Suche nach einem Weihnachtsgeschenk bin ich über dieses Buch gestolpert und hatte mir eigtl. gar nichts davon erwartet. Eigentlich galt es als Alternative zur Biographie von Bob Dylan und zahlreichen Werken Hemmingway's (ist ja alles fast das Selbe ;P). Es entpuppte sich allerdings als mein neues Zugpferd für die Neuentdeckung des Lesens. Sehr interessant, ins Detail genau und in Actionthrillermanier beschrieben und geschrieben. Das wichtigste und schwierigste ist meiner Meinung nach ein geschichtliches Buch einfach erscheinen zu lassen. Viel zu oft bin ich über Bücher gestolpert, die so zäh waren, dass man die Lust am Thema verloren hat. Bei diesem Buch wünscht man sich, dass Stalin immernoch lebt, damit man die Geschichte immer weiter lesen kann...obwohl...dann wäre das Buch wahrscheinlich in russisch und wir hätten keine Bananen mehr zum Essen. ;) Spaß beiseite, Stalin lebte den amerikanischen Traum und in diesem Buch wird beschrieben warum. Lesen!
Kommentar War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich? Ja Nein Feedback senden...
Vielen Dank für Ihr Feedback. Wenn diese Rezension unangemessen ist, informieren Sie uns bitte darüber.
Wir konnten Ihre Stimmabgabe leider nicht speichern. Bitte erneut versuchen

Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 89 Rezensionen
64 von 69 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A vivid picture of Stalin's turbulent youth 16. Oktober 2007
Von Graham - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Montefiore paints a very vivid picture of Stalin's youth, providing a comprehensive narrative from his birth in Georgia to his rise to power as a member of the inner circle of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. He shows a youthful Stalin who was variously a seminary student, a star choirboy, a proud Georgian poet and a rabble-rousing Marxist fanatic. He shows his development as an undercover party leader, including his role as an organizer of bank robberies and extortions, and emphasizes his early ruthlessness in organizing the executions of "traitors". He explores the different facets of Stalin's life as a Siberian exile, an escapee, a charming philanderer, and an absentee father. And finally he shows the rising Bolshevik leader: a founder of Pravda, one of Lenin's most trusted lieutenants, ruthless and pragmatic, who could be relied on to do the dirty work, and who was already one of the innermost circle when the Bolsheviks seized power.

Montefiore uses a variety of materials, but especially unpublished memoirs from Stalin's early friends and colleagues newly available in the Georgian communist party archives. Material from these was sometimes used in the official Stalinist biographies, but anything that deviated from the official dull accounts was quietly buried. Montefiore explains that both Stalin and Trotsky were eager to obscure Stalin's early life: Trotsky wished to belittle him as a mere party bureaucrat, while Stalin feared that his unruly past would be an obstacle as he moved towards supreme power. Montefiore acknowledges the difficulties in assessing the accuracy of the various memoirs, but observes that there are enough different accounts (and also independent accounts from refugees in the West) that even if we can't be sure of all the details, the overall picture seems sound.

In Montefiore's portrayal, one striking aspect of Stalin's youth is that he was genuinely immersed in a world of treachery and betrayal. A wanted man, always on the run, several times betrayed and captured due to Tsarist double agents deep in the Bolshevik leadership, he was right to be distrustful and paranoid. At this time in Stalin's life there really were traitors everywhere.

Overall, this is a fascinating account of a wild young revolutionary daredevil. But probably its greatest value is in providing insights towards the underlying strengths and weaknesses of the later General Secretary Stalin. We see his considerable personal charm and his vast capacity for organization. But we also see his cynicism, his mistrustfulness, and his willingness to use force and terror as everyday tactics.
76 von 86 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Definitely not a "grey blur" 19. Oktober 2007
Von Antonio - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book gave me back my faith in the art of biography, that something new can be found about even the most heavily referenced figures. Although I've read many Stalin biographies, in most of them the Vozhd's early years failed to come into focus. We learned little about the family other than papa Beso's drunken brutality and about mama Keke's resourcefulness and pride.

Yet, even in this most studied of lives, there is plenty of gold to be found by those who know where to look. Montefiore takes us back to the almost Mediterranean splendor of the Caucasus, a land of fierce feuds and vendette, of revolutionary nobles and passionate women, where everything (the weather, the clothing, the food, the tempers) is as un-Russian as can be. Stalin was definitely a Caucasian. He was proud and violent, but also very sharp and able to behave with unexpected generosity. He was extremely bright and amazingly well read. It is easy to see why Stalin was offended by the poet Mandelstam's celebrated line in his "Ode to Stalin", about "His fat fingers" "slimy like slugs". Stalin surely regarded himself as an intellectual and this description as a dim-witted vulgarian could only wound him deeply. In his pictures as a young man he is curiously good looking, and one can imagine the attraction this bright young rebel might have had for all sorts of women. In this Stalin was very unlike Hitler, for whom fleshly pleasures were repellent, and rather like Mussolini who was to the end a ladies' man.

Stalin's friends come alive in this book. Sure, they felt no compunction about cutting an enemy's throat, or blowing up an oil refinery, or bombing a police station, but they were also able to have fun, to drink, to joke, perhaps like many rebels of our day. It is to me a mistery how such a fanatic as Stalin, whose faith in revolutionary communism was boundless, could also enjoy all sorts of social and physical pleasures. Perhaps the explanation might be in his mother's example. Keke Geladze, as religious a woman as ever lived, was not above drinking or taking up lovers.

Stalin's environment also becomes completely understandable. Georgia was also much like the American far West, a violent borderland where strong men imposed their will on others and insults where washed away in blood. Many Georgian notables supported the rebels not because they sympathised with socialism but because they saw them as nationalists fighting against the Russian invaders. It is a tragedy that Stalin ordered the murder of so many of his former backers, and that he came, in time, to be even more Russian than the Tsar ever was. Far from being a social outsider, in Georgia Stalin was known to everyone in his hometown, and he was very close to the local nobility, magnates, clergy, intellectuals and criminals. Stalin was uniquely Georgian, which might explain to some extent his current popularity there.

These are just a few of the surprises this book has in store. It includes several surprisingly good poems by Stalin as a young man. It is a pity that in later years he would dedicate himself to writing leaden treatises on subjects such as linguistics, when in fact he was a light, luminous poet. It has some wonderful pictures of a few of the Vozhd's girlfriends, and they are also surprisingly good looking. But its greatest triumph is that it shows how Josif-Soso-Koba-Ivanovitch became Stalin. You take a boy of many gifts (bright, curious, brave, strong) and with a few but very great defects (proud, spiteful, fanatical) and subject him to violence and brutality during his early years, then allow him to develop his intellect while leaving his morality stunted, place him in an environment where he might become a negative leader without being punished for it, add in social ferment and revolution in the air, and then a mighty conflagration. The boy is father to the man. Stalin was not a wolf or a beast in human shape, as many said, he was just that same boy Soso, but now inmeasurably powerful, and with history on his side. The son of a cobbler and a washing woman ended up as one of the two most powerful men in the world.

Stalin's enemies dismissed him as "the man who missed the Revolution", "a grey blur", a nonentity who sidelined Lenin's true heirs through bureaucratic wiles. But although he was a terrorist and a sociopath since youth, Stalin was no "grey blur": he was one of the most fascinating personalities yet encountered, a colourful bundle of contradictions, intellectual and man of action, womanizer and ascetic, political fanatic and cynical pragmatist. Far from having usurped a role reserved to other revolutionaries such as Trotski or Bukharin, Stalin was Lenin's true heir, which is not meant to be a praise. Lenin admired Stalin precisely because of his ruthlesness and obduracy rather than in spite of them. One doesn't need to be sympathetic to Stalin or to Communism to enjoy this, a brilliant book, with enormous cinematic potential. It begs to be made into a movie.
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A very impressive work 1. November 2007
Von Mark Greenbaum - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I came away from "Young Stalin" very impressed. The author has done a superb job of constructing Josef Stalin's life story from his birth to his initial rise at the start of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. I can't remember being as impressed with a book's research as I was with this book. There is a wealth of information on Stalin's early life -- a period that has never been written about in such great detail -- tapped from hundreds of new sources and revealed in fascinating text. Even if you're not terribly interested in Stalin's life -- I wasn't -- you will find this book interesting, as Stalin's early life was one adventure after another.

The book begins by discussing Stalin's birth to a tough-minding, loving mother and an alcoholic father in a town in Georgia as dirt-poor as anything imaginable. From there, Stalin excelled in school, and nearly became a priest, but was ironically driven away by excessively strict priests at his school, running right into the arms of the revolutionary beliefs that were taking the world by storm at the end of the 19th Century. It was at this point that Stalin's life really began to take shape. From there, Stalin became a shadowy figure in the underground, specializing in everything from arch-conspirator, to bank robber extraordinaire, to extortionist, to intelligence specialist, to counter-intelligence expert, to even murderer. Using his dark intelligence, over time Stalin became the key problem-solver for Lenin and the Bolshevik Party, helping rid the party of spies -- both real and imagined -- and planning and executing the bank robberies which would fund Lenin and his fledging Bolshevik Party in its early days.

Between the events shaping Stalin's rise, the author does a brilliant job in discussing and highlighting many of the more "colorful" events in his young life. These events include Stalin's many, many affairs and several illegitimate children, how his amazing calmness and coldness allowed him to intimidate or control countless lackies nearly all of whom he later discarded, how he survived astonishingly brutal stretches of exile in Siberia, in particular a four year stretch on the Artic Circle in an area that is closer to being a hellhole that any other place imaginable, his many escapes from bumbling Tsarist police, and many other great tales. The author's writing is sharp and lively, and he well bolsters these and other stories with copious amounts of starred-* notes at the bottom nearly every page providing details of forgotten stories. Specifically, I loved how the author would tell what later became of the hundreds of people who Stalin came across in his youth; not surprisingly, nearly all of them despite often strong loyalty, were later imprisoned and/or killed by Stalin once he became supreme leader of the country. While the author acknowledges time and again what an astonishing brute and killer Stalin would later become, he does so with kind of a bemusement. Indeed, while it is easier to slap that label on Hitler because he was such a cold-hearted martinet, it is tougher with Stalin simply because he had so much personality, charisma, and wit! He really was a fascinating figure. As I noted above, the author has constructed such a sharp look at Stalin by tapping dozens of unpublished memoirs of former associates and friends of Stalin, many of whom he later forgot or destroyed.

After finishing this book, I was struck by what a mystery Stalin was, and continues to be. While the book well captures his ferocity, brilliance, zealotry, taste for young girls, lack of loyalty to even his closest friends, cold heart, and difficult upbringing, I think the author well encapsulates Stalin when, near the end, he simply calls him "weird". Despite possessing strong intelligence, a loving mother, and many loyal friends and colleagues, he was a thug who reveled in violence and mayhem, and when he became leader, he liquidated even his closest allies. The reason he became that man? Well, that's impossible to say, even with this great book. Needless to say that his cold heart made it easier for him to treat people so poorly and always possess the view that human life had almost no value.

This is a very impressive book. I'm not trying to repeat myself, I just came away with that feeling. The book does not tackle the heady diplomatic and war decisions in Stalin's later life -- those are in the author's other book on Stalin -- but focuses on his early life and many of the fascinating gossipy elements that aren't widely known. It's a little long (nearly 400 pages), but an easy and fun read. If you're a student of any history, it is well worth your time.

Five stars.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Yes, it 's history! 26. November 2007
Von H. H. Verveer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Simon Sebag Montefiore has a habit, by his pedestrian ways, of annoying not just the historian, but perhaps also the more intellectual kind of reader. And he does so not just by selling more books than his collegues. In his new book on Stalin Montefiore can't resist temptation, opening with a bankrobbery and describing it in glowing terms. Since the rest of Young Stalin is strictly chronological, and the robbery takes place in 1907, this is a deliberate choice. It's Hollywood, not history. Montefiore talks about `heists', `glamourpussy's' and `spooks'. Richard Lourie, writing a piece for the New York Times is scathing about Montefiore. Remarking upon how Djugashvili became Stalin, he writes: "You won't find out here. Simon Sebag Montefiore, the author of "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar," is not one historian but two. The first is capable of serious research and insight, but he is eclipsed by the second, who sees history as scandal and its writing as gossip. Vanity Fair goes to Lubyanka." Orlando Figes writes, in the New York Review (Rise of a Gangster): `Young Stalin' is not without its weaknesses. Scholars may have reservations about its occcasional lapses into semifictional narrative, while others may be driven mad by the endnotes, from which in many cases it is virtually impossible to find the sources for quotations in the text."
Although it seems to me that Figes is more rational than Lourie, there is a lot of truth in these observations. When I started reading his first volume on Stalin (Court of the Red Tsar), I felt the same way. I was irritated by the tone and by the novellistic approach. And I felt again, exactly the same way, when I started in Young Stalin, more so even, probably because of the unnecessary heist (sorry) at te beginning. But in the end you surrender: you just have to start admiring the immense amount of detectivework, the investigation of numerous sources, the detailed and very factual approach. Montefiore may be seduced by his own story, but he tells it very well. His research is terrific, but so is his style. And I find it silly to complain that Montefiore is so busy "glamourizing his hero" (Lourie) that there is no insight left. That isn't true. The enormous amount of facts that Montefiore presents, is chilling enough. And is it, after having read Kearshaw on Hitler, possible to tell how the young man became the dictator? The best thing to hope for is that a biography gives you the facts. The rest is mystery. In the end you can only - like Figes does in the New York Review - admire the book, which ends in 1917. And since Court of the Red Tsar begins, more or less, in 1932, there are 15 more years to hope for.
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
From Soso to Stalin 29. Februar 2008
Von P.K. Ryan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Audio CD Verifizierter Kauf
Attention all historians! This is the way that history should be written. Simon Sebag Montefiore's magnificent chronicle of Stalin's early years is easily one of the most entertaining and knowledgeable historical biographies that I have ever read. Montefiore has proven to be both an assiduous researcher, as well as a masterful storyteller. Some reviewers have accused Montefiore of being too sensationalistic and novelistic. I call it vivid, descriptive storytelling of the highest caliber. I could actually visualize the scenes in my head as he was describing them. Remember that excruciatingly leaden college professor whose lectures you dreaded sitting through, that tiresome mathematician in historian's clothing? That is the type who will surely be annoyed by this book, although anyone with half a pulse will find it to be a superlative exercise in biographic history. For Pete's sake, the reason I like history is because it is the study of animate objects; people, places, events, etc. It is adventurous, and when done rightly, like Montefiore here, it can truly inspire. Witness the style:

"So this is not just a biography, but the chronicle of their milieu, a pre-history of the USSR itself, a study of the subterranean worm and the silent chrysalis before it hatched the steel winged butterfly."

Born in 1879 as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, the man who would become known as Stalin, was known throughout his childhood and youth as Soso. Young Soso was born and raised in the industrial Georgian town of Gori, in the far reaches of the Russian Empire. This seething Caucasian town was a turbulent mix of piety, honor and drunken unruliness. "Gori was one of the last towns to practice the picturesque and savage custom of free for all town brawls with special rules, but no holds barred violence. Boozing, praying and fighting were all interconnected, with drunken Priests acting as referees." Soso's father was a drunken cobbler who viciously abused him. His mother was compassionate, yet maybe too much so, as she had a reputation for being promiscuous. Stalin was certainly aware, writes Montefiore, that his biological father might have been one of three neighborhood men that were close to the family. The Georgia of Stalin's youth was also steeped in a culture of rebellion and banditry. Young Soso grew up hearing stories of heroic Georgians who fought off the imperialist forces of Russia, and his original revolutionary cohorts were a turbulent admixture of dedicated Marxists and bloodthirsty criminals. Here is another quote that highlights both the ambiance of Stalin's birthplace, as well as Montefiore's writing style:

"Georgians and other Caucasian men in traditional chokha, their skirted long coats lined down the chest with bullet pouches, swaggered down the streets singing loudly. Georgian women in black headscarves and the wives of Russian officers in European fashions, promenaded through the gates of the Pushkin Gardens, buying ices and sherbet alongside Persians and Armenians, Chechens, Abkhaz and mountain Jews in a fancy dressed jamboree of hats and costumes.... ....This un-Slavic, un-Russian and ferociously Caucasian kaleidoscope of east and west was the world that nurtured Stalin."

Soso was somewhat of a paradox from early on. He was at once the brightest, most hard-working student, as well as the most mischievous and violent. He was small but tough, constantly getting into fights and assorted thuggery, but at the same time he was a gifted poet, and star choirboy. "Attractive to women, often singing Georgian melodies and declaiming poetry, he was charismatic and humorous, yet profoundly morose, an odd Georgian with a Northern coldness." He was a dashingly handsome and prolific lover, a great organizer, and a maliciously effective political gangster. Soso was, in fact, a typical Georgian in many ways, a people of unfailing hospitality and blood feuds. From Gori, he moved to Tiflis (Tblisi) where he entered a seminary to become a Priest. Ironically, it was here where he first encountered Marxism. After several years, Soso quit the seminary and dedicated his life to being a Marxist revolutionary. It was in Tiflis where he began his political career, which included activities such as brazen bank robberies and extortions. He was constantly on the move, residing at one time or another in Batumi, Baku, Vienna, London, and twice exiled to Siberia, the second time for several years, which had a lasting effect on him. We also learn about his relations with Lenin, Trotsky, and the rest as Montefiore takes us right up until 1917. Montefiore also notes that Stalin's turbulent underground life helped mold his extreme notions of loyalty and betrayal.

It is commonly thought that Stalin was not particularly intelligent, but according to Montefiore, that is not true. He lacked a formal education, yet he was a voracious autodidact with a mind like a steel trap. Occasionally mentioned is what type of books Stalin was reading at certain times, and how it affected him. Montefiore also notes that much of the prevailing opinion about Stalin, his intelligence, and his involvement in the Revolution has been taken from Trotsky, who Montefiore says is not entirely reliable. I could go on and on about this terrific book, but I suspect that you get the idea. `Young Stalin' is just an all around enthralling read. Five stars.
Waren diese Rezensionen hilfreich? Wir wollen von Ihnen hören.