World War: Joe's Bad Boy

Jacob was never much. His mother died of consumption when he was very small. Papa Djugashvili (who later called himself Stalin) used to try to toughen up little Jacob's lungs by blowing pipe smoke in his face. So Jacob took up smoking before he was ten; and his father had to beat him for that.

Papa Joe tried to make an engineer of Jacob, but Jacob was a lazy fellow. He would not study at technical school. Papa Joe is said to have said, "If you do not want to be an engineer, be a cobbler"—and packed Jacob off to an...

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