ON Stalin's night to play host at dinner, "The atmosphere," says the record, "was most cordial and 45 toasts in all were drunk." Under sparkling chandeliers at Yusupovsky Palace sat the men casually engaged in reshaping the globe.

Marshal Stalin, the cobbler's son who was on the way to inheriting a quarter of the earth, proposed a toast to the Prime Minister of Great Britain: "The bravest governmental figure in the world . . . fighting friend, and a brave man." Winston Churchill, the pink-cheeked giant of Western statesmen, who was about to be ousted from power, raised glass to Marshal Stalin,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!