I just finished reading Simon Sebag Montefiore’s biographies of Stalin and was blown away by them. I read Young Stalin first and thought I had had enough Stalin and would just skim through Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, but I read every line. Every page has something jaw-dropping on it. Almost every day I’d say to my wife, “Stalin was an unbelievable monster,” and she finally said in exasperation, “Didn’t you know that already? How much more of that book do you need to read to establish that?” But it’s established in a new way in chapter after chapter. These books are essential reading for anyone interested in Stalin, Communism, 20th-century history, or just the dark side of human nature.