Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century

Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century

by Alexandra Popoff


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The definitive biography of Soviet Jewish dissident writer Vasily Grossman
If Vasily Grossman’s 1961 masterpiece, Life and Fate, had been published during his lifetime, it would have reached the world together with Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago and before Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag. But Life and Fate was seized by the KGB. When it emerged posthumously, decades later, it was recognized as the War and Peace of the twentieth century. Always at the epicenter of events, Grossman (1905–1964) was among the first to describe the Holocaust and the Ukrainian famine. His 1944 article “The Hell of Treblinka” became evidence at Nuremberg. Grossman’s powerful anti‑totalitarian works liken the Nazis’ crimes against humanity with those of Stalin. His compassionate prose has the everlasting quality of great art. Because Grossman’s major works appeared after much delay we are only now able to examine them properly. Alexandra Popoff’s authoritative biography illuminates Grossman’s life and legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300222784
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Pages: 424
Sales rank: 1,231,168
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Alexandra Popoff is a former Moscow journalist, an expert on Russian literature and cultural history, and the author of several literary biographies.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 In the Town of Berdichev 7

2 From Science to Literature and Politics 29

3 Facts on the Ground: The Donbass 50

4 Great Expectations 66

5 The Dread New World 85

6 The Inevitable War 105

7 1941 115

8 The Battle of Stalingrad 128

9 Arithmetic of Brutality 152

10 A Soviet Tolstoy 184

11 Toward Life and Fate 213

12 The Novel 236

13 An Unrepentant Heretic 255

14 Everything Flows 279

15 Keep My Words Forever 298

Epilogue 317

Notes 327

Bibliography 369

Index 379

Illustrations follow page 114

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