Stalin as a Young Man - Montfiore

Joseph Stalin was a published poet of significant stature as a teenager.  Stalin robbed banks to send money to Lenin who used the funds to survive while planning the Russian Revolution.  Because Stalin always found his way back to civilization after being sentenced to exile after conviction for crimes as a young man, this happened five times, it has been asserted that Stalin was working for the Czar’s secret police and was never a Communist but a double agent.  Stalin’s home life as a boy was filled with violence and shame.  He was regularly beaten by both parents.  His mother bragged to villagers (to the chagrin of her husband) that her boy Joseph was not the child of her husband but of an itinerant carnival strong man who found her attractive.Stalin’s arm was crushed in a carriage accident as a young child and never healed.  His destroyed arm prevented him from participating in sports.  Stalin was sent to a seminary as an older teen where he was frequently punished for reading novels.  He especially enjoyed Tolstoy, Hugo and Dostoevsky.