This new biography of Stalin offers an accessible and up-to-date representation of one of the twentieth-century's defining figures, as well as new insights, analysis and illumination to deepen our understanding of his actions, intentions and the nature of the power that he wielded. Christopher Read examines Stalin's contribution to and impact on Russian and world events in the first half of the twentieth century. The biography brings together the avalanche of sources and scholarship which followed the collapse of the system Stalin constructed, including the often neglected writings and speeches of Stalin himself. In addition to a detailed narrative and analysis of Stalin's rule, chapters also cover his early years and humble beginnings in a small town at a remote outpost of the Russian Empire, his role in the revolution, his relationships with Lenin, Trotsky and others in the 1920s, and his rise to become one of the most powerful figures in human history. The book closes with an account of Stalin's afterlife and legacy, both in the immediate aftermath of his death and in the decades since. This concise account of Stalin's life is the perfect introduction for students of modern Russian history.