Stalin — Breaker of Nations by Robert Conquest (1991) covers the life of Joseph Stalin, from his childhood in Gori to his death at his Nearer dacha (Kuntsevo) near Moscow on March 5, 1953. This book is 346 pages, including bibliographical notes and index. The book is easy to read, well-organized, and ideal for the beginning student of Soviet history and Stalinism.
"As Lavrenti Beria stood over Joseph Stalin's deathbed in early March 1953, witnesses observed that he could barely contain his pleasure in watching the leader edge toward his final moments of life."
Press Release (Monday) November 14, 2011: Stalin's Mysterious Death
Did Stalin, the Soviet dictator, die a peaceful death in his own bed or was he poisoned by Beria? What is the new medical evidence?