In this book, originally published in English in 1953, the author, recognized as one of the best-informed experts on Eastern European politics, reconstructed during the course of a decade's work, the real history of Stalin, from his youth in Georgia to the last year of his life. Utilizing an enormous mass of largely unpublsihed documents he reconstructed a living Stalin with all his qualities and faults, crimes and achievements. He tells the secrets of Stalin's rise to power and of the extraordinary complexity and effectiveness of his tactics which can be seen in his attitude towards the problems of Marxist philosophy, in his attitude towards the German Question and his role as military commander.
1. Prologue 2. The Youth of Joseph Stalin 3. The Seminary at Tiflis 4. Professional Revolutionary 5. Imprisonment and Deportation 6. Escape 7. The Birth of 'Stalin' 8. Further Imprisonment and Life Abroad 9. St. Petersburg, 1913-17 10. The First Revolution and the Struggle for Power 11. Lenin as Stalin's Teacher 12. Trotzky in the Foreground: Difficult Days 13. The Congress of Unification 14. The Bolshevik Coup 15. Revolution and Civil War 16. Second Marriage: War with Poland 17. Stalin Becomes Party Secretary 18. Lenin's Testament, and the Conquest of Power 19. The End of the Triumvirate 20. The Secret of Stalin's Ascent to Power 21. The New Dogma 22. Stalin and the Politburo 23. The Struggle Against the Right 24. Collectivization: The First Five-Year Plan 25. The Great Purge Approaches 26. Extermination of the Opposition: The First Phase 27. Extermination of the Opposition: The Second Phase28. The Apotheosis of Stalin 29. Stalin and Foreign Politics 30. Diplomatic General Post 31. Towards Munich 32. Munich 33. The Russo-German Treaties 34. The War and Communism 35. Unconverted Diplomacy 36. The Russo-German Struggle for the Balkans 37. Molotov in Berlin 38. Towards a Russo-German War 39. Industrial Preparation: The Pact with Japan 40. Stalin is Taken by Surprise 41. Stalin Organizes his Work in Time of War 42. The Battles of Moscow: Contacts with the Allies 43. The New Command 44. Stalingrad 45. Tentatives in Direction of a Separate Peace 46. Stalin and Roosevelt: Teheran 47. Between Teheran and Yalta 48. Yalta 49. Between Yalta and Potsdam 50. Potsdam 51. The Atomic Age and the Cold War 52. The USSR and Stalin as Time Has Changed Them.