Who would invite Joseph Stalin to a dinner party?

Every issue of History Revealed, we ask a well-known personality to choose five guests from history to invite to a dinner party

Who would invite Joseph Stalin to a dinner party? © Wikimedia Commons

Here’s who stand up comedian Lucy Porter wants…

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1

ISAAC NEWTON

One of the most influential scientists in history, particularly in the fields of physics and mathematics
“I recently wrote a play called The Fair Intellectual Club, set in the early 18th century. For it, I ended up researching Newton’s life and works. I’d always known he was the father of modern science, but didn’t realise what a complex character he was. I’m not sure he would be a particularly pleasant fellow at dinner, but fascinating nonetheless.”

2

ANITA LOOS

American playwright and author
“She wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, one of the finest comic novels ever written. I’d liked to have had both her talent and her life. She’s probably the woman I wished I’d been. She lived through the 1920s and ’30s, which, if I could have lived in any period in history, that would have been it. They seemed to live wild, riotous lives– it was all champagne, parties and glorious orgies.”

3

JOSEPH STALIN

Brutal leader of the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century, responsible for the deaths of millions
“I read a biography of Stalin a few years ago – purely because I saw the cover and thought ‘Wow, I really fancy the young Stalin’. It’s always interesting to see what makes a psychopath tick. I think he’d be a lot of fun as a guest – drunk, I imagine, and hopefully dancing on the table, throwing vodka around. Every good dinner party needs that.”

4

MAYA ANGELOU

Legendary African-American author and poet
“An incredibly inspiring poet and novelist. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was a book I adored in my teens. I found it beautiful and moving, it opened a whole world I’d never thought about. It kindled a desire for social justice. I think she and Stalin could only be good for each other as I feel she could guide him back to the righteous path.”

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5

JANIS JOPLIN

Iconic musician of the 1960s
“We’d have karaoke which, with her amazing voice, she’d lead. Someone who’d been at Woodstock would be great to have. If people are going to bore you with festival stories, at least she could talk about the original and best. If I hadn’t lived in Hollywood in the 1930s, I’d have fancied living like her in San Francisco in the 1960s. In fact, I could have done both…”