When Joseph Djugashvili was born the son of a poor shoemaker, few suspected he would rise to become one of the twentieth century's most ruthless and powerful dictators. Enamored as a young man with the revolutionary politics of Lenin, he joined the underground Marxist Party and began his pursuit of power by leading strikes and demonstrations. Six times he was exiled to Siberia for his illicit activities, escaping many times despite below freezing temperatures and on one occasion an attack by a pack of wolves. His instinctive ability to command authority and divide the opposition through lies and deceit set him on a path he would follow to become Russia's most absolute dictator. He was never reticent to shed innocent blood in the pursuit of his own ends, and he carefully orchestrated demonstrations that brought about massacres that he then used to his own revolutionary ends. His vision was far reaching, and while his initial purpose was to establish a Soviet socialist state his larger goal was world domination. Ultimately responsible for the deaths of over 30 million—13 million alone in the Ukrainian famine he caused—Stalin's life is a sober and heartbreaking account of the reign of terror suffered by countless millions at the hands of one man. Illustrated with photographs.
About the Author: Dr. Albert Marrin is a master at weaving personal perspective and historical material smoothly to give readers an interesting and reliable account of the subject. He has written over two dozen award-winning nonfiction books for young people which have been called "addictive reading" by The Horn Book. This is a wonderful clue to the type of author Marrin is. We at BFB respect his work and are so pleased to be publishing several of his titles. Three of his books, including Hitler and Stalin: Russia's Man of Steel, were School Library Journal Best Books of the Year.