Introduction In 2004 Simon Sebag Montefi ore wrote Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar, a history of Stalin’s leadership and his imperial court. Sebag Montefi ore followed this in 2007 with Young Stalin, an account of the Bolshevik’s early years in which the origins of his brutal and charismatic leadership style can be seen. While Sebag Montefi ore states in the introduction to Young Stalin that he purposely avoided writing a psycho-history, he also states: ‘Yet the formation of Stalin’s character is particularly important because the nature of his rule was so personal. Furthermore, Lenin and Stalin created the idiosyncratic Soviet system in the image of their ruthless little circle of conspirators before the revolution’ (Sebag Montefi ore, 2007: xxxi).