Who was Stalin and what did he achieve? Why did he come to power and how did he use that power? The third edition of this best-selling Seminar Study answers these questions and provides the latest research, interpretations and historiographical debates about one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century.One of the most successful and lethaldictators of the twentieth century, Stalin transformed the Soviet Union into a modern industrial state. While he demonstrated Russia's huge potential if harnessed correctly, Stalin's brand of coercive socialism sent millions to their deaths in the process. The debate about Stalin's role in creating the Soviet superpower still rages. Was the violence justified? To what extent was Stalin the master of events? Now thoroughly updated to incorporate the most recent research, and including a completely new chapter on Stalin's personality and power, the new edition provides the essential introduction to the Stalin phenomenon.