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An anti-communist friend recommended me these. Has anyone here read them? Are they at all accurate?


Montefiore is the worst historian I can think of, why even ask.


I've heard they're rollicking reads if you treat them as fiction


Found EPUBs of these books, if anyone wants to read them.

I'm not familiar with him or his work, that's why I ask. Would you mind elaborating on why he's a bad historian, ideally with citations for further reading?


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Did you guys know that Montefiore is in Epstein's Black Book? The fucking irony that the historian who accused Lavrentiy Beria of mass rape and singlehandedly popularized it in the west was friends with Jeffrey Epstein, must take a lot of fucking nerve.


While pretty fucking damning, ad hominems don't invalidate his research.


Im pretty sure he didnt do any research


I read young Stalin and it reads like gossip. Everything has to either resort to his sexual relationships, his relationship with his parents and how much his "innate tyrant" was formed in these years preluding revolution. For that he refers to anecdotes of friends and enemies. So it isn't a history book, it's more of a pop-psychology book. And it is the type of pop-psychology that liberals really dig, because it leaves out the political transformation and only concerns itself with his character traits and who he fucked with.
One passage talks about how someone witnessed Stalin talk about emulating Napoleon at a party. Like…jesse wtf are you talking about? What do you want us to tell here? His political journey is pretty much reduced to "he worked at his fathers shoe factory and then he learned to hate capitalism, joined the bolsheviks and killed gazillions people". If you want some anecdotal evidence of Stalin's fetishes, tastes in wine and what films he liked, then please read his books. But if you want a mainstream historian talking about Stalin with an "unbiased" view, go read Kotkin


He's a fun read, but is the source for a lot of anti-Communist (anti-Stalin, anti-Beria, anti-Lenin, etc.) slander. He's the pop-history type who self-admittedly has "unorthodox" (see, sourcing from conjecture) ways of sourcing for his books. It's a mixed bag imo, treat his work like fiction/read it with a grain of salt and you'll have a good time. He also comes from a literal Anglo global banker hereditary aristocracy and has written "historical" fiction about the Bolsheviks which included sex scenes so bad he got shortlisted for a bad sex scenes award.


From what I understand Simon Sebag Montefiore is a carryover from the Cold War-era "totalitarian" school of Soviet historiography. If you're interested in someone demonizing Stalin based on the kind of archival research his predecessors didn't have, then he's your man. If you want a bio of Stalin that's more even-handed, then look at historians belonging to the "revisionist" school of Soviet historiography like Ronald Grigor Suny. I've heard good things about his recent Stalin bio, Passage to Revolution.




Its complete bullshit


One of his books was assigned reading in my soviet history class. It was evenhanded. Definitely worth reading.

Montefiores young stalin i cited in one of my essays. It was just a bunch of anecdotes about Stalin that were meant to make him look shit but ended up making me like him alot more. Dude was badass


>his recent Stalin bio, Passage to Revolution
Did not know this was out. Thanks for the info.


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What are people's thoughts on this book written by Boris Souvarine that I found on marxists.org?

I just want to read good and credible biographies on stalin


that implies he did any research



It's pretty old now -as it was one of the first real biography of Stalin-, so it's not really the top-notch academia book with the most recents archival discoveries, but it remains an important and foundational classic. Of course, it's Souvarine so it's deeply anti-Stalin.


>Of course, it's Souvarine so it's deeply anti-Stalin.
Is it too biased to read then?


Suny's been making the rounds lately raising awareness for his book contra Montefiore, Kotkin, etc. Here's a timestamped youtube video where he distinguishes his bio from other bios on the market: https://youtu.be/8GRS2kMlZsk?t=1507
No problem! I recently ordered copy and am looking forward to reading it.


>"With Steve Kotkin […] he doesn't take the earlier period that seriously. Montefiore who DOES look at the early Stalin (he has a book called Young Stalin) in fact DOESN'T take Marxism, the 'National Question' seriously—One time I met Montefiore and he said, "What are you interested in?" I said, "Well I'm interested in the Revolution, the labor movement; I'm interested in, yknow, social democracy" and he said, "Oh good! I'm interested in his women." So if you're interested in his women, then go to Montefiore and you'll find a Stalin who's not only a bandit, a gangster, a terrorist, but a pedophile. I took Stalin very seriously; I took Marxism very seriously. He was a journalist for much of his career! He wrote dozens and dozens of articles in Georgian and in Russian—and he wrote on the 'National Question' […] So it's a lot of context—maybe too much context."


Here's hoping Suny lives long enough to write a book on Stalin during the early Soviet period.



What does "too biased" means ? If the question is the anti-stalinist position is backed up by solid sources, even marvellous for a time when knowing something about the soviet union was extremely difficult, then no it's not "too biased".


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Anyone read his history of the USSR?

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