A mesmerising, chilling close-up portrayal of Stalin from Milovan Djilas, a Communist insider - with an introduction from Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag and Iron CurtainThis extraordinarily vivid and unnerving book three meetings held with Stalin during and after the Second World War. Djilas brilliantly describes the dictator in his lair - cunning, cruel, ermously talented. Few books give as clear a sense of what made Stalin such a compelling figure and how he was able to hyptise and terrify those around him. Djilas also describes the key members of Stalin's court: Beria, Malenkov, Zhukov, Molotov and Khruschchev. The result is a gripping account of the ruler at the height of his fame and power.
Milovan Djilas (1911-95) was Tito's key lieutenant in the brutal partisan war against the German and Italian occupiers of Yugoslavia. His missions to Moscow aligned the Yugoslav Communist Party with the USSR, with his final mission in 1948 failing to prevent the break between Stalin and Tito. He was Vice President of Yugoslavia but became increasingly remote from a regime which he felt had betrayed the ideals of the party. His two major books, The New Class (1957) and Conversations with Stalin (1962), enraged Tito and resulted in his spending altogether some nine years in prison. His writings made him a central dissident figure during the Cold War. He continued to live in Belgrade until his death.