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The Whisperers

Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Figes, Orlando (Book - 2007 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Whisperers
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A landmark account of what private life was like for Russians in the worst years of Soviet repression. We know of the public aspects of Stalin's dictatorship: the arrests and trials, the enslavement and killing in the gulags. No previous book, however, has explored the regime's effect on people's personal lives. Now, drawing on a huge collection of newly discovered documents, this book reveals the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens amidst the mistrust, fear, compromises, and betrayals that pervaded their existence. Cultural historian Figes re-creates the moral maze in which Russians found themselves, where one wrong turn could destroy a family. He brings us inside cramped communal apartments, where minor squabbles could lead to fatal denunciations; he examines the Communist faithful, who often rationalized even their own arrests; and he casts a humanizing light on informers, demonstrating how, in a repressive system, anyone could easily become a collaborator.--From publisher description.
Authors: Figes, Orlando
Title: The whisperers
private life in Stalin's Russia
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, c2007
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: xxxviii, 739 p. : ill., maps, geneal. tables ; 25 cm
Contents: Children of 1917 (1917-28)
The great break (1928-32)
The pursuit of happiness (1932-6)
The great fear (1937-8)
Remnants of terror (1938-41)
'Wait for me' (1941-5)
Ordinary Stalinists (1945-53)
Return (1953-6)
Memory (1956-2006)
Summary: A landmark account of what private life was like for Russians in the worst years of Soviet repression. We know of the public aspects of Stalin's dictatorship: the arrests and trials, the enslavement and killing in the gulags. No previous book, however, has explored the regime's effect on people's personal lives. Now, drawing on a huge collection of newly discovered documents, this book reveals the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens amidst the mistrust, fear, compromises, and betrayals that pervaded their existence. Cultural historian Figes re-creates the moral maze in which Russians found themselves, where one wrong turn could destroy a family. He brings us inside cramped communal apartments, where minor squabbles could lead to fatal denunciations; he examines the Communist faithful, who often rationalized even their own arrests; and he casts a humanizing light on informers, demonstrating how, in a repressive system, anyone could easily become a collaborator.--From publisher description.
ISBN: 0805074619
9780805074611
Statement of Responsibility: Orlando Figes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 667-702) and index
Subject Headings: Communism Soviet Union Psychological aspects City and town life Soviet Union Soviet Union History 1925-1953 Soviet Union Social conditions
Topical Term: Communism
City and town life
LCCN: 2007024223
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