NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
21st May, 1924 : Josef Stalin is emerging as the Soviet Union’s strongman following the death in January of Vladimir Lenin. The short, pock-marked Georgian General Secretary has achieved several tactical successes at the current Communist Party congress, including preventing a debate on Lenin’s posthumous “testament” known to be sharply critical of Stalin’s character. Stalin has banded with Grigori Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev, two magnetic revolutionaries, to oppose a third, Leon Trotsky, who has refrained from attacking him. Stalin’s opponents give every sign of under-rating him.