BARRY GRAHAM, Scottish author, journalist, Zen monk in U.S. Books include THE BOOK OF MAN (an American Library Association best book of the year), THE WRONG THING (finalist for SPINETINGLER MAGAZINE best novel of the year), WHEN IT ALL COMES DOWN TO DUST (a MYSTERY PEOPLE best book of the year) and KILL YOUR SELF: LIFE AFTER EGO, an Amazon Kindle bestseller in the Zen category.

Sympathy for Stalin, 60 Years After His Death

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Today is the the 60th anniversary of the death of Joseph Stalin. There can be no doubt about the monstrosity of some of his actions, and no doubt that his cult of personality was antithetical to the socialism he espoused, but to simply label him a monster or a megalomaniac is useless.

To anyone wanting to understand what happened, and what went wrong - how he went from  poet and gangster to leader of the Soviet empire to paranoid narcissist - I recommend Simon Sebag Montefiore’s biographies Young Stalin and Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. As I learned about the man, I found him a sympathetic figure.