Biographies & Memoirs

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar

This widely acclaimed biography provides a vivid and riveting account of Stalin and his courtiers—killers, fanatics, women, and children—during the terrifying decades of his supreme power. In a seamless meshing of exhaustive research and narrative ?lan, Simon Sebag Montefiore gives us the everyday details of a monstrous life.We see Stalin playing his deadly game of power and paranoia at debauched dinners at Black Sea villas and in the apartments of the Kremlin. We witness first-hand how the dictator and his magnates carried out the Great Terror and the war against the Nazis, and how their families lived in this secret world of fear, betrayal, murder, and sexual degeneracy. Montefiore gives an unprecedented understanding of Stalin’s dictatorship, and a Stalin as human and complicated as he is brutal.

Introduction and Acknowledgements

Prologue: The Holiday Dinner 8 NOVEMBER 1932 - List of Characters

PART ONE - That Wonderful Time: Stalin and Nadya 1878–1932

Chapter 1: The Georgian and the Schoolgirl

Chapter 2: The Kremlin Family

Chapter 3: The Charmer

Chapter 4: Famine and the Country Set: Stalin at the Weekend

Chapter 5: Holidays and Hell: The Politburo at the Seaside

Chapter 6: Trains Full of Corpses: Love, Death and Hysteria

Chapter 7: Stalin the Intellectual

PART TWO - The Jolly Fellows: Stalin and Kirov 1932–1934

Chapter 8: The Funeral

Chapter 9: The Omnipotent Widower and His Loving Family: Sergo the Bolshevik Prince

Chapter 10: Spoiled Victory: Kirov, the Plot and the Seventeenth Congress

Chapter 11: Assassination of the Favourite - The Jolly Fellows: Stalin and Kirov 1932–1934

PART THREE - On the Brink 1934–1936

Chapter 12: “I’m Orphaned”: The Connoisseur of Funerals

Chapter 13: A Secret Friendship: The Rose of Novgorod

Chapter 14: The Dwarf Rises; Casanova Falls

Chapter 15: The Tsar Rides the Metro

Chapter 16: Take Your Partners; Mount Your Prisoners: The Show Trial

PART FOUR - Slaughter: Yezhov the Poison Dwarf 1937–1938

Chapter 17: The Executioner: Beria’s Poison and Bukharin’s Dosage

Chapter 18: Sergo: Death of a “Perfect Bolshevik”

Chapter 19: The Massacre of Generals, Fall of Yagoda and Death of a Mother

Chapter 20: Blood Bath by Numbers

Chapter 21: The Blackberry at Work and Play

Chapter 22: Bloody Shirtsleeves: The Intimate Circle of Murder

Chapter 23: Social Life in the Terror: The Wives and Children of the Magnates

PART FIVE - Slaughter: Beria Arrives 1938–1939

Chapter 24: Stalin’s Jewesses and the Family in Danger

Chapter 25: Beria and the Weariness of Hangmen

Chapter 26: The Tragedy and Depravity of the Yezhovs

Chapter 27: Death of the Stalin Family: A Strange Proposal and the Housekeeper

PART SIX - The Great Game Hitler and Stalin 1939–1941

Chapter 28: The Carve-Up of Europe: Molotov, Ribbentrop and Stalin’s Jewish Question

Chapter 29: The Murder of the Wives

Chapter 30: Molotov Cocktails: The Winter War and Kulik’s Wife

Chapter 31: Molotov Meets Hitler: Brinkmanship and Delusion

Chapter 32: The Countdown: 22 June 1941

PART SEVEN - War: The Bungling Genius 1941–1942

Chapter 33: Optimism and Breakdown

Chapter 34: “Ferocious as a Dog”: Zhdanov and the Siege of Leningrad

Chapter 35: “Can You Hold Moscow?”

Chapter 36: Molotov in London, Mekhlis in the Crimea, Khrushchev in Collapse

Chapter 37: Churchill Visits Stalin: Marlborough vs. Wellington

Chapter 38: Stalingrad and the Caucasus: Beria and Kaganovich at War

PART EIGHT - War: The Triumphant Genius 1942–1945

Chapter 39: The Supremo of Stalingrad

Chapter 40: Sons and Daughters: Stalin’s and the Politburo’s Children at War

Chapter 41: Stalin’s Song Contest

Chapter 42: Teheran: Roosevelt and Stalin

Chapter 43: The Swaggering Conqueror: Yalta and Berlin

PART NINE - The Dangerous Game of Succession 1945–1949

Chapter 44: The Bomb

Chapter 45: Beria: Potentate, Husband, Father, Lover, Killer, Rapist

Chapter 46: A Night in the Nocturnal Life of Joseph Vissarionovich: Tyranny by Movies and Dinners

Chapter 47: Molotov’s Chance: “You’ll Do Anything When You’re Drunk!”

Chapter 48: Zhdanov the Heir and Abakumov’s Bloody Carpet

Chapter 49: The Eclipse of Zhukov and the Looters of Europe: The Imperial Elite

Chapter 50: “The Zionists Have Pulled One Over You!”

Chapter 51: A Lonely Old Man on Holiday

Chapter 52: Two Strange Deaths: The Yiddish Actor and the Heir Apparent

PART TEN - The Lame Tiger 1949–1953

Chapter 53: Mrs. Molotov’s Arrest

Chapter 54: Murder and Marriage: The Leningrad Case

Chapter 55: Mao, Stalin’s Birthday and the Korean War

Chapter 56: The Midget and the Killer Doctors: Beat, Beat and Beat Again!

Chapter 57: Blind Kittens and Hippopotamuses: The Destruction of the Old Guard

Chapter 58: “I Did Him In!”: The Patient and His Trembling Doctors

Postscript

Endnotes

Source Notes

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