Ronald Grigor Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan and professor emeritus of political science and history at the University of Chicago. His many books include They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else : A History of the Armenian Genocide (Princeton) and The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
A Georgianist as well as a Russianist, equally comfortable with social, cultural and political history, Suny outclasses previous biographers of the young Stalin . . . It is a monumental work of history and its treatment and evocation of the young Stalin will never be bettered. ---Geoffrey Roberts, Literary Review The overriding merit of this book is that it takes Stalin seriously. It explains his life and development without feeling the need to impose a value judgement on the reader on every page. ---Andrew Murray, Morning Star He [Suny] is a lucid writer and a perspicacious scholar. ---Stephen Lovell, Times Literary Supplement Suny, using an abundance of newly available archival material, though there was no secret diary or introspective documents, provides an extraordinary telling, a detailed account, well written and engrossing, of the obscure and multiple layers of experience in Stalin's early life: church school, seminary, outlaw, exile, prison, attraction to Marxism. ---Michael Curtis, American Thinker A comprehensive, deeply researched study of one of the world's most brutal dictators as he took the paths that would lead him to power. ---Starred Review, Kirkus This impressively researched biography provides remarkable and reliable details on the first part of Stalin's life, along with the many fissures among the Left Communists. An important accomplishment. * Library Journal, starred review * The book's strength lies . . . in its excavation of important episodes of the early years. . . . What I took from Passage to Revolution - and I agree with the idea - is that young Stalin was an angry optimist. . . . His hefty, demanding tome emphasizes the effects of changing circumstances that pivoted both Stalin and Russia into a vortex of revolution and civil war. ---Robert Service, Washington Post Joseph Stalin has been the subject of many biographical studies. . . . Ronald Grigor Suny's 'Stalin: Passage to Revolution' is a worthy contribution to this continuing enterprise. . . . In highly readable prose Mr. Suny . . . tells the story of the young Stalin's rise. ---Joshua Rubenstein, Wall Street Journal Ronald Grigor Suny has written a massive, extensively researched biography of Josef Stalin's early years-from his childhood days in Gori, Georgia, to the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917. ---Francis P. Sempa, New York Journal of Books