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Reading the November issue of Literary Review (a British monthly, somewhat like the New York Review of Books but less claustrophobically liberal), the following thing caught my attention. It’s in Donald Rayfield’s review of Staling, Vol. 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin: “Medical historians conclude that Stalin was in more or less acute muscular, neurological, and dental pain all his adult life …  Stalin’s brutality towards the medical profession, hitherto sacred to all Russian authorities, hints at the frustrations of a man in unremitting pain.” At Taki’s Magazine