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Stalin's Personal Library: An Intimate History of a Dictator and His Books

Apollo Kutateladze
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Professor Roberts will discuss his forthcoming book, which explores Stalin’s intellectual life and biography through the prism of his personal library. By the time Stalin died the library contained some 25,000 books, periodicals and pamphlets. It was dispersed after his death but important remnants and traces survived in the communist party’s archives. Stalin wrote no memoirs and kept no diary, but he left a well-marked literary trail, not just in the books he read but in those he wrote and edited. Through an examination of these books it is possible to build a composite, nuanced picture of the 20th century’s most self-consciously intellectual dictator.