JOSEF STALIN, known as “the man of steel,” who led the Soviet Union from 1926 to his death in 1953, did more than any other Soviet figure to put his stamp on the Soviet Union. Born on December 21, 1879, he received a full scholarship to study in the Russian Orthodox seminary at Tbilisi in his native Georgia. However, as with many others in his generation, the young Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili entered the revolutionary movement of the Marxist Social-Democratic Party. In 1910, he adopted the shortened name, Josef Stalin.

From the beginning, Stalin's career diverged from those of his future mentor, Vladimir Lenin, and future rival, Leon Trotsky. While both of them spent many years in revolutionary exile outside the then-tzarist Russia, Stalin spent most of ...

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