May 15, 11
Read in April, 2011
What the author does in this biography is to paint a portrait of the great dictator that will give readers an idea who he was. The book is an agreeable read, but I had the feeling at the end that this approach to the life of Stalin was inadequate to its subject.
Because of the nature of the man a portrait of him could be sketched rather easily and in far fewer pages than this biography. Stalin, it turns out, was an unusually bland personality driven by often inscrutable motives. His effect on the course of history is sweeping, however, and a biography of him might have been more fruitfully directed toward this aspect of his legacy.
The book is entirely readable, but its approach leaves too much unexplored.