Book Talk: Stalin: Passage to Revolution by Ronald Suny
Join Columbia University's Harriman Institute for an online event with Ronald Suny on his book, "Stalin: Passage to Revolution."
"Stalin: Passage to Revolution" is the definitive biography of Joseph Stalin from his birth to the October Revolution of 1917, a panoramic and often chilling account of how an impoverished, idealistic youth from the provinces of tsarist Russia was transformed into a cunning and fearsome outlaw who would one day become one of the twentieth century’s most ruthless dictators.
In this monumental book, Suny sheds light on the least understood years of Stalin’s career, bringing to life the turbulent world in which he lived and the extraordinary historical events that shaped him. Suny draws on a wealth of new archival evidence from Stalin’s early years in the Caucasus to chart the psychological metamorphosis of the young Stalin, taking readers from his boyhood as a Georgian nationalist and romantic poet, through his harsh years of schooling, to his commitment to violent engagement in the underground movement to topple the tsarist autocracy. Stalin emerges as an ambitious climber within the Bolshevik ranks, a resourceful leader of a small terrorist band and a writer and thinker who was deeply engaged with some of the most incendiary debates of his time.
A landmark achievement, "Stalin" paints an unforgettable portrait of a driven young man who abandoned his religious faith to become a skilled political operative and a single-minded and ruthless rebel.
Ronald Suny, William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History, University of Michigan; professor emeritus of political science and history, University of Chicago