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

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

by David Remnick
     
 

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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.  See more details below

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.

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:
04/28/1994
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
588
Sales rank:
216,744
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.25(d)

Meet the Author

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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