This account of Stalin's life begins with his early years, the family breakup, the abuse by his father and the growth of the traumatized boy into criminal, spy, and finally one of the 20th century's political monsters. Starting with Stalin's early years, the author reveals the bitter family conflict caused by the suspicion that the boy was the result of an adulterous affair. The suspicion poisoned the lives of his parents and led to the family's breakup, and to severe abuse by Stalin's father that left the ten-year-old boy's arm crippled for the rest of his life. The traumatized boy grew up into a brutal and crafty criminal, becoming an agent-provocateur of the Tsarist secret police, the Okhrana. This account details Stalin's role as an Okhrana agent, and reconstructs his rivalry with Roman Malinovsky, the top Okhrana agent in Lenin's organization. The book explores why Stalin was not exposed after the collapse of the Tsarist regime. It gives an account of the discoveries in the odl archives of Stalin's Okhrana files after his rise to power. It came to light in 1926 and there were several attempts to use the file to depose and execute Stalin as an Okhrana provocateur. Soviet officials of Polish and Jewish ethnic origin played a part in the story of this file, and Brackman argues that this inspired Stalin's hatred for these two groups, igniting the irrational urge to destroy them that led to his alliance with Hitler and the partitioning of Poland, which started World War II.