A scholarly, absorbing narrative of Stalins last days and the turbulent wake of his dictatorship. Joshua Rubensteins riveting account takes us back to the second half of 1952, when no one could foresee an end to Joseph Stalins murderous regime. He was poised to challenge the newly elected US president Dwight Eisenhower with armed force and was also broadening a vicious campaign against Soviet Jews. Stalins sudden collapse and death in March 1953 was as dramatic and mysterious as his life. It is no overstatement to say that his passing marked a major turning point in the twentieth century. The Last Days of Stalin is an engaging, briskly told account of the dictators final active months, the vigil at his deathbed, and the unfolding of Soviet and international events in the months after his death. Rubenstein throws fresh light on the devious plotting of Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, and other comrades-in-arms who well understood the significance of the dictators impending death; the witness-documented events of his death as compared to official published versions; Stalins rumored plans to forcibly exile Soviet Jews; the responses of Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles to the Kremlins conciliatory gestures after Stalins death; and the momentous repercussions when Stalins regime of terror was cut short.