Worshipped by the Russians as a great leader, Stalin was one of modern history’s greatest tyrants, rivalling Hitler, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot. But he probably had more blood on his hands than any of them. Born Josef Dzhugashvili in Gori, Georgia in 1879, Stalin studied to be a priest while secretly reading the works of Karl Marx. Politics soon became his religion and, under his ruthless rule, up to 60 million people perished. Peasants who resisted Stalin’s policy of collectivization were denounced as kulaks, arrested and shot, exiled or worked to death in his ever-expanding network of concentration camps, the Gulag. Nobody was safe, not even his friends, his family, or his political allies. This is the story of a man who never let up for a second in his pursuit of absolute power. Complete with maps and photographs, this book details Stalin’s rise to power from humble beginnings and his ascent to total power of dictatorship, and the creation of the USSR.