Charismatic as well as brutal, Joseph Stalin was served by a large number of hangers-on who energetically did his bidding, even as they feared falling out of favor. In this biography—which features 32 pages of black and white photographs—the author of Jerusalem creates a portrait of the increasingly paranoid dictator, juxtaposing his more humane traits with his insatiable sadism, to demonstrate how everyone in his orbit eventually ran afoul of him.
"A harrowing portrait of life in the dictator’s inner circle…. [Stalin] emerges from this book as a contradictory, creepily flesh-and-blood human being."—NYTimes