Stephen Kotkin has a fair claim to be considered as the greatest living expert on Stalin. He is the author of the highly-praised Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 and Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization and Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000. He is Professor of History at Princeton University.
Original, engaging, with a sharp, irreverent wit [of volume one] -- Sheila Fitzpatrick * Guardian * Exhilarating, compelling, terrifying and utterly gripping... Stalin emerges from Kotkin's book as that most frightening of figures -- a man of absolute conviction. [of volume one] -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * New Statesman * Masterly, a riveting tale, written with pace and aplomb. [of volume one] * New York Times *