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Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

Overview

In the tradition of John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World, this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. "A moving illumination . . . Remnick is the witness for us all." —Wall Street Journal.

In the tradition of John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World, this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the...

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Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

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Overview

In the tradition of John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World, this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. "A moving illumination . . . Remnick is the witness for us all." —Wall Street Journal.

In the tradition of John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World, this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. "A moving illumination . . . Remnick is the witness for us all."--Wall Street Journal.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
An engrossing and essential addition to the human and political literature of our time." —The New York Times

The most eloquent chronicle of the Soviet empire's demise published to date.... It is hard to conceive of a work that might surpass it."—Francine du Plessix Gray, Washington Post Book World

"An eloquent and riveting oral history of an epochal moment of change." —Michael Ignatieff, The Los Angeles Times

"Remnick ... has achieved a very rare feat: to make the reader feel he has been present himself at a great turning point in history. It is a stunning book, moving and vivid from the first page to last." —Robert A. Caro

"Utterly absorbing.... If you did not have the opportunity to witness the Soviet empire in its death throes, Lenin's Tomb will take you there." —Jack F. Matlock, Jr.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An outstanding account of the unravelling of the Soviet empire; with a new afterword by the author. May
Library Journal
In January 1988, Remnick began a tour as a reporter at the Moscow bureau of the Washington Post just in time for a front row seat to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Communist Party. Assignments brought him into contact with everyone from elite, old-guard communists and neo-Stalinists to liberal democrats and leaders of the reform movement. Remnick recounts the particulars of these interactions in this intimate and personal account of one of the century's climactic events. His chronicle includes interesting vignettes, and his depiction of the abortive 1991 attempt to overthrow Gorbachev is compelling. Nevertheless, perspective and a sense of the monumental are hidden in ponderous, sometimes redundant detail. Of passing interest, this is suitable for popular collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/92.-- James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Tuscaloosa
New York Times Books of the Century
He argues convincingly that what died in the old Soviet leadership...was its unending assault not only on people but on memory.
Kirkus Reviews
It's hard to imagine any book on the last years of Communism in the Soviet Union surpassing this one by Remnick, who covered the events for The Washington Post. Remnick's story is about far more than simply the economic failure of Communism. For 70 years, he emphasizes, history in the Soviet Union had been the instrument of the Communist Party—and "history, when it returned, was unforgiving." From his own travels, and from conversations with former Soviets at every level of society, Remnick conveys unforgettably the impact of that history. There's the testimony of General Volkogonov, who as a historical researcher and loyal Party member found that on just one day, December 12, 1938, Stalin, after signing the death sentences of about five thousand people—including many the Soviet dictator knew personally—went to his personal theater and watched two movies, including Happy Guys. There's the story of the man Remnick met in Magadan, that "gulag boomtown," who as a young boy lived in a house close to the port, from which long lines of prisoners marched toward the camps scattered for hundred of miles throughout Kolyma. The author spoke to people of every kind—from Politburo leaders to bums in the street; from Gorbachev's first girlfriend to simple people still passionately dedicated to the memory of Stalin—and he has an almost poetic ability to convey character and scenes economically and vividly: One ideologist, he says, "looked like a teacher who specialized in handwriting and never gave an A." Commenting on his findings, Remnick notes that, today, "the fate of Russia hinges, once more, on the skills, inclinations, and heartbeat of one man. This time it is BorisYeltsin...No one knows what would happen should Yeltsin fall from power...The institutions of this new society are embryonic, infinitely fragile." Brilliant, evocative, riveting.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679751250
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 588
  • Sales rank: 256,132
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

David Remnick

David Remnick was a reporter for The Washington Post
for ten years, including four in Moscow. He joined The
New Yorker as a writer in 1992 and has been the magazine’s editor since 1998. Mr. Remnick served as an Olympic Correspondent and Commentator for NBC during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. 

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    The True Story of Revisionist USSR

    A Washington Post writer investigating revisionist history crumble? Not what you would expect from a newspaper who pushed Soviet propoganda through out the Cold War. But David Remick goes to the heart of the matter, the formerly pooh-poohed Katyn Forest and the murder of the entire Polish military officers by ... the Soviets... And he does not let up from there. A must read for any serious modern and current events history buff.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    This is a very revealing and perhaps most revealing account of t

    This is a very revealing and perhaps most revealing account of the last days of the Soviet Union put forth in a concise manner for the reader. It is smooth flowing, vivid in its descriptions and captured the mood at the time in such an authentic way. The reliance on interviews gives a lot of credibility to the narration and the portrayal of the character in the the situations they found themselves in. The society as a whole is bared for he reader to understand and the system's shortcomings are exposed. I read The Union Muzhik the other day and from it, understand the hopes of Perestroika and Glasnost that the demise of the Soviet Union failed to bring to the people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2006

    No Way Ever...

    Okay, first of all Lenin was an enemy of the Soviet Union he attempted to kill Stalin, like what? 39 times? America was helping the Soviet Union kill Lenin, so really, I'm the only one who really knew what was going on. In chapter 9 you see the quote 'No, you see, I am the true Stalinist in this neighborhood, I came up with Socialism and Communism before Karl Marx, he broke into my house and stole my work.' this was said by Lord Acton, so in reality, this book is only about a bunch of stuff that never happened, the Soviet Union was a fictional mystic place of poverty. I'm Joseph Stalin's 3rd great great grandson, and I was named after him, I think I'd know what's up, he was an Anarchist, he was conspiring to destroy the Soviet Union! Jacob Stalin Capitalism baby, that's what it's all about forget Socialism and Communism, it's all about trade and capital!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2002

    Excellent unveiling of Russia's sordid past

    This book takes a bit to get into, but once you are hooked, you have to keep on going; Remnick doesn't hit you over the head with Stalin's atrocities; he lets the eye-witnesses speak for themselves; a wonderful, eye-opening read; highly recommended; i now have to read his newer book, called resurrection

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2001

    Valuable Facts and Insights about Communism

    This book offers many valuable facts about the USSR, encompassed in interviews with key figures, dissidents, central and local party officials, the apparatchiks and the ordinary Soviet citizens. <p> But a lot more important and interesting than that are the insights the author has gained, as a result of witnessing the last years of the USSR. I used to think only communism citizens would possess these insights. For example, the book compares the Soviet Communism party with the 'most gigantic Mafia ' machinery mankind ever knows, with its system of kickbacks, grafts, obsession for obsolete power and control over people, its usage of terror as the basis of power ... You must be living there, suffering in all aspects of your daily life without an escape route, having to accept it as the ONLY way to live, to get a true feeling. <p> Therefore, I am surprised to see that the author has such a deep understanding about the inner working of a Communist state as well as the feelings of its citizens. <p> I grew up in South VN after the VN war ended and when the winning communists began to implement their kind of regime. I saw the Soviet history repeated in VN and Cambodia during the 75-85 years: mass imprisonment, failed social re-engineering, farm collectivisation, the racial discrimination, the terrorizing monopoly of the Party in worldly and spiritual life .. From what I saw, the observations and conclusions in this book are highly applicable to VN and to all other communism states.

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    Posted April 23, 2010

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted June 25, 2010

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