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Stalin: A Biography

Stalin - Robert Service Want to open a monster's head and look at his brain? It's hard to know what you're looking at. Even for a dictator, Stalin doesn't seem that human. Unlike a lot of dictators (Mao and Kim Jong Il come to mind), Stalin didn't really go hog-wild with orgies, decadent palaces, or other conventional extravagances. Political power, especially the ability to execute anybody he disliked, seems to have been his only source of endorphins. Well, it's not like the world needed more evidence to conclude that he was a true psychopath, but the book seems well-researched, and reads quickly.