“Civil war,”Stephen Kotkin writes, “was not something that deformed the Bolsheviks; it formed them … [providing] the opportunity to develop and to validate the struggle against ‘exploiting classes’ and ‘enemies’ …. For Stalin, the civil war was especially formative, since it gave him his first experience of executive power,” notes Anne Applebaum in her excellent review of “Stalin,” by Stephen Kotkin. “Check out “Klara’s Journey,” (Marion Street Press) an historic novel and a gripping saga of Russia’ Civil War. http://amzn.to/13Sp769. Ebk formats and wherever books are sold. ). Follow me on twitter @bengfrank.