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             Josef Stalin was the communist leader of Russia from about 1929 to his death in 1953. He is considered one of the greatest villains in history. He killed many millions of people, most of whom were guilty of no crime other than being of a certain religion or social class. Stalin greatly reformed Russia, and advanced Russia at the expense of the common citizens. Overall, Stalin was bad for Russia, and hurt his country more than he helped it.
             Stalin was born on December 21, 1879 in Gori, Georgia. His father died from wounds received in a bar brawl in 1890 (Stalin Triumph 54). His mother was a poor, uneducated housewife. Born as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, Stalin was frequently sick as child, and one bout of illness left him with a slightly crippled left arm. At first Stalin wanted to become a priest, but got sick of that after he became involved in a Georgian radical socialist and nationalist group. He joined the Social Democratic party in 1901, and became a full-time revolutionary soon after that (The Unquiet 89). He was exiled to Siberia in 1903, but escaped and returned to western Russia in 1904. He also married Yekaterina Svanidze in 1904. Unfortunately, she died on April 10, 1907 (Modern). Stalin did many odd jobs for his party through his younger years. He also served as co-editor of a revolutionary newspaper for a while. He was exiled many times for treason or various other crimes, but he always managed to return to the Russian political scene. Stalin first met Lenin in December 1905, and he joined Lenin's cause in 1912. Lenin liked Stalin, and Lenin did what he could to help Stalin rise to the top of the party. Exiled in 1913, Stalin did not return from Siberia until the Czar's abdication in 1917 (Stalin Modern). Stalin's early years were those of a typical revolutionary or political activist.
             Stalin's rise to power from the lower ranks was quite a journey. He helped the Bolshevik party by performing odd jobs and various tasks from 1917-1920.

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