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25

TUESDAY

In the Triumvirate of Tyranny, you’d have to go a long way to beat Joseph Stalin. The seminarian-turned-terrorist murdered almost everyone he ever knew and at least 25 million people he didn’t. Yet unlike Hitler or Mussolini, Stalin was still idolized when he died after nearly 30 years in power, and thousands of mourners were crushed to death in the throng to see him lying in state. Using Stalin’s death as a springboard for The Autobiography of Joseph Stalin, novelist and Russian scholar Richard Lourie offers a fictionalized account of the Man of Steel’s battle of wits with fellow Bolshevik Leon Trotsky, who is in exile in Mexico writing a potentially devastating expose of Stalin’s rise. And Stalin, true to his nature, is trying to kill him. Lourie discusses his book at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Janet Hopf)