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By Tim Ripley

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Original description:
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Extra resources for Air War Bosnia. UN and Nato Airpower

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24 Still, we can say for sure that the assertions he was especially treacherous in betraying comrades are comical in the context of what went on in Social Democrat ranks. Stalin was imperious (as imperious as Lenin and Trotsky) and prickly (as prickly as Lenin and Trotsky). He remembered perceived slights, something of a cliche in the blood-feud Caucasus culture but also common among narcissists (another word for many a professional revolutionary). True, more than most, the young Stalin perpetually antagonized colleagues by asserting claims to leadership whatever his formal assignments and achievements; then, invariably, he viewed himself as the wronged party.

More than for any other historical figure, even Gandhi or Churchill, a biography of Stalin, as we shall see, eventually comes to approximate a history of the world. • • • WORLD HISTORY IS DRIVEN BY GEOPOLITICS. Among the great powers, the British empire, more than any other state, shaped the world in modern times. Between 1688 and 1815, the French fought the British for global supremacy. 4 By the final defeat of Napoleon, which was achieved in a coalition, the British were the world’s dominant power.

Despite a malformed body and many illnesses, he exhibited a vigorous intellect, a thirst for self-improvement, and a knack for leadership. True, he had a mischievous streak. “Little Soso was very naughty,” recalled his companion Grigory Elisabedashvili. “He loved his catapult and homemade bow. Once, a herdsman was bringing his animals home when Soso jumped out and catapulted one in the head. 16 Moreover, even if his childhood had been entirely miserable, as many have one-sidedly portrayed it, such a circumstance would explain little of the later Stalin.

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