The book is focused on Joseph Stalin, a ruthless Soviet dictator from the WWII era. It is set mostly in post-WWI Germany, with a section about his role in his childhood and WWII. Though the book is non-fiction, it is more of an informational book than a biography, and it features more info about what he did, than him as an actual person. It also showed his political ideologies and their effects on the Soviet Union.
I am not a huge fan of non-fiction books, but this particular example is filled with interesting facts and a deeper look at the life of the Red Tsar. It had many photographs of Stalin’s public and personal life and showed many of his allies and enemies as well. I liked how it was very organized and had a timeline-like chronological layout for the chapters. There were also many interesting facts about his secret police force and his spies.
One memorable thing was the section on how Stalin would edit himself standing next to Lenin, the Soviet Union’s first dictator. It made him seem like he was Lenin’s second-in-command when in reality he was somewhere in the background. It made him look like he was more important and powerful than he actually was, giving him a larger-than-life figure. Overall, it was a very informational and well-written book and would be great to use as a source for research.
Reviewed by Vishnoy, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Library