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Summary

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour.

Arguably no person in history had such a direct and negative impact on the lives of so many as Joseph Stalin. Under the Red Tsar terror knew no limits, it did not discriminate; no one was safe, no institution, no single town or village was immune. Yet, following his death in 1953, Stalin was deeply mourned. He had "received the country with a wooden plough, and left it with a nuclear missile shield." And no-one else, some claimed, could have led the Soviet Union to victory in the Second World War.

So who was Joseph Stalin, what was his role during the Russian Revolution; how did he come to power, what made him such a destructive tyrant, and how did he impose his will on the Soviet Union for so long? Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour....

©2013 Rupert Colley (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

“If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past.” (Dominic Sandbrook)
“This is genius.” (MacWorld.com)
“The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In An Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age.” (Andrew Roberts, Bookseller)

What listeners say about Stalin: History in an Hour

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    4 out of 5 stars

The Man of Steel, explained in brief

A slightly incongruous timeline runs through this story of Stalin's life, fleshed out in detail at every stage of his life, from rough upbringing to his removal from the Lenin Mausoleum and his burial amongst the graves of his victims. Well narrated and paced excellently, the hour flies by.

3 people found this helpful

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Great potted history

Loved the narrator on this. Covered lots of key points. Perfect for a commute. Will be checking out for more in this series

1 person found this helpful

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A good short introduction to a monster

A very brief introduction to one of Europe's worst despots, a man that colluded with Hitler, and killed more of his own compatriots than the second world war did.
The first Big brother and the inspiration of 1984.

6 people found this helpful

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Very, very silly!

This is one of the silliest volumes in the History in an Hour series, which tend to be either very good or very poor indeed. Like Hitler, Stalin was a monster but, like Hitler, he changed the world and transformed his country. He was an evil genius. The writer of this script is so consumed with bile, ignorance and prejudices that he describes someone who would struggle to tie his own shoelaces or survive an hour without somebody turning him into dog food. It's not so much a history as a Rant from the hard right:: it seems Stalin didn't transform a primitive peasant economy into a global super power, didn't mastermind the defeat of the mighty Nazi army and change the course of history. Goodness knows how the creature Colley describes managed to influence anyone or make a cup of tea. As a human being, we all know Stalin was cruel and contemptible but as a political and intellectual force, like Hitler, he needs some very nuanced examination if we are to begin to understand how C20th history was what it was. Colley seems to believe everyone in the Soviet Union got everything completely wrong for about thirty years whilst a maniac strutted around killing people for fun: the "history": is presented in such childish terms. It wouldn't score a GCSE grade C. Appalling that Harper Collins has published such tripe! You'd do better reading an article from Wikipedia!

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  • AG
  • 12-03-20

excellent

Great summary but also detailed enough. Good for revision of A level or GCSE history

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A brief history of a monster

The horror and carnage that Stalin caused during his life can't be covered in such a brief account, but this is an excellent overview. It gives a sense of the fear and paranoia that his rule inspired and the unimaginable number of deaths he was responsible for.

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perfect summary!!!

Still very detailed. nothing skimmed over too much. So interesting. Stalin - What an arsehole!!!

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  • ao
  • 28-01-19

Very interesting and very well narrated.

(Sigh) Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Very interesting insight into Stalin world and background. Narrated excellently.

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Packed with information.

Good layout from the young seminarian to the Supreme Leader of the USSR.. Great narration by Mr. Keeble..

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all you need to know about this "steel" man

No frills full of memorable details of his personal life and his impersonal political life

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  • DesDemona
  • 02-09-18

key points

i enjoyed listening. the narrator has a good voice. the story is only 1 hr and yet it covered the main points most of which i already knew. however, it was told in such a way that caused me to *wanna* listen. I would totally recommend it.🤗

1 person found this helpful

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  • A S N
  • 08-12-17

Stalin’s life covered well

A powerful yet sad part of world history. Stalin and what he made of the USSR, impacted the entire world. It is important to know this sad part of history and this book covers it well in a short time.

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  • Jessica
  • 16-08-16

Fascinating & Succinct

I've now listened to three of these books. They never disappoint in content and are further enhance by Mr Keeble's performance.

This short book was wonderful. I knew a bit about Stalin, now I'm quite interested in learning so much more. That's the beauty of this series, it awakens your interest and forces you to go out and learn a bit more

Highly recommend!

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  • JR
  • 24-07-16

informative

it was short and educational. not too bad for an intro to stalin.. the narrator was clear and loud and maybe british. easy listen

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  • Thomas R.
  • 01-03-16

don't repeat history. know it!

good listen. unfortunately it's true. don't repeat history. ie that's the value of history. to not repeat stupidity

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  • Patrick
  • 26-11-13

Fine for an Hour; Audible Cliff Notes

What made the experience of listening to Stalin: History in an Hour the most enjoyable?

Good narration.

Would you be willing to try another book from Rupert Colley? Why or why not?

Depends on the subject.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Why Would We Make A Film of This?

Any additional comments?

A decent short history.

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  • Larry
  • 17-04-13

UGH!

I get it. "History in an hour". But it was so rushed, so glossed over key points... I ended up screaming at the book more than enjoying it.