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Extended Audio Sample Stalin: Breaker of Nations, by Robert Conquest Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (143 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Conquest Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Of all the despots of our time, Joseph Stalin lasted the longest and wielded the greatest power, and his secrets have been the most jealously guarded—even after his death.

In this book, the first to draw from recently released archives, leading USSR scholar-historian Robert Conquest gives us Stalin as a child and student; as a revolutionary and communist theoretician; as a political animal skilled in amassing power and absolutely ruthless in maintaining it. He presents the landmarks of Stalin’s rule: the clash with Lenin, collectivization, the Great Terror, the Nazi-Soviet pact and the Nazi-Soviet war, the anti-Semitic campaign that preceded his death, and the legacy he left behind.

Distilling a lifetime’s study, weaving detail, analysis, and research, Conquest has given us an extraordinarily powerful narrative of this incredible figure—one of the most enigmatic and terrifying figures of modern times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A superb portrait of the man who terrorized his country for thirty years and inflicted the Cold War on the rest of the world…Makes for fascinating reading.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Thoughtful and thorough and shot through with insight.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Brilliant…This book probably is the most cogent and readable account of Stalin’s life yet published.”

    San Diego Union

  • “Definitive…a magnificent, even poetic, act of historical retribution.”

    New Leader

  • “Chilling…This masterful biography provides fresh insight into a progressively paranoid leader who ruled by terror and falsification.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Incorporates new details of Stalin’s life and establishes a broad context for understanding his actions…Carefully researched and well written…Conquest’s work excels in its sophisticated portrayal of Stalin’s life against the map of world politics and society.”

    Library Journal

  • “Written in a fast-moving informative style, this absorbing biography charts Stalin’s rise from obscure revolutionary flunky to power-mad dictator…A compelling portrait for students and teachers of modern Russian and European history alike.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Blending impeccable scholarship and deeply revealing anecdotes, noted Soviet scholar Conquest illuminates Stalin’s role in history as well as his private character…A must for anyone interested in the dictator.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sam Cramer | 8/14/2013

    " A remarkable portrait of an evil man who promoted an evil ideology. Darkly amusing in parts; the description of Stalin's nights with his cronies -- who did not know if they would survive the evening -- is not to be missed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kelly-Louise | 11/2/2010

    " When I decided that I wanted to read a biography of Stalin, I chose this one because at 327 pages, it's a lot more doable than the others that I found, which were all about double that in length. Not a light, happy read, certainly, but so interesting. I learned a lot. "

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About the Author

Robert Conquest, historian, poet, literary critic, and political writer, is the author of many books in these fields, including such classic works on Soviet history as The Great Terror and The Harvest of Sorrow, both published to much acclaim in the Soviet Union itself. He is at present a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institute, Stanford University.