The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia

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Macmillan, Nov 25, 2008 - History - 739 pages
26 Reviews

A New York Times Notable Book of 2007

"A tremendous achievement."--The Sunday Times (London)

The Whisperers is a triumphant act of recovery. In this powerful work of history, Orlando Figes chronicles the private history of family life during the violent and repressive reign of Josef Stalin. Drawing on a vast collection of interviews and archives, The Whisperers re-creates the anguish of family members turned against one another--of the paranoia, alienation, and treachery that poisoned private life in Russia for generations. A panoramic portrait of a society in which everyone spoke in whispers, The Whisperers is "rigorously compassionate. . . . A humbling monument to the evil and endurance of Russia's Soviet past and, implicitly, a guide to its present" (The Economist).

  

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Review: The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia

User Review  - Ann - Goodreads

Highly recommended for anyone interested in Soviet social history. This is not a political history of the purges, murders, and Gulag system of slave labor per se, although they play a large part in ... Read full review

Review: The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia

User Review  - Mary Catelli - Goodreads

This is not a light book. True, there are much more severe books about the Soviet Union; this one only brushes on the labor camps and Gulag. But there's plenty enough grim in the things that aren't so ... Read full review

All 9 reviews »

Contents

The four secretaries of Iakov Sverdlov chief Party organizer of the Bolsheviks the Smolny Institute October 1917
2
Leonid Eliashov 1932
17
Iosif and Aleksandra Voitinsky Yekaterinoslav 1924
21
Aleksei and Ivan Radchenko 1927
23
Vera Minusova early 1930s
26
The Tetiuev family Cherdyn 1927
40
Batania Bonner with her grandchildren Moscow 1929
42
Peasant nanny Fursei family Leningrad
48
Yevdokiia and Nikolai with their son Aleksei Golovin 1940s
78
Kulaks exiled from the village of Udachne Khryshyne Ukraine early 1930s
89
Exiles in a special settlement in western Siberia 1933
101
Leonid and Aleksandr Rublyov 1930 Right Klavdiia Natalia and Raisa Rublyova with Raisas husband Kansk 1930
105
Aleksandr and Serafima Ozemblovsky on their wedding day in 1914 Right Serafima with Sasha and Anton Ozemblovsky in 1937
107
The Pursuit of Happiness 19326
148
The Great Fear 19378
227
Remnants of Terror 193841
316

Natasha Ovchinnikova
49
The Vittenburg family at Olgino 1925
56
Konstantin Simonov Aleksandra and Aleksandr Ivanishev Riazan 1927
60
Page from Simonovs school notebook 1923
61
The Laskin family Moscow 1930
67
The Slavin family 1927
71
The Great Break 192832
76
Wait For Me 19415
379
Ordinary Stalinists 194553
455
Return 19536
535
Memory 19562006
597
Afterword and Acknowledgements
657
Sources
703
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Orlando Figes is the author of Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia and A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 18911924, which received the Wolfson Prize, the NCR Book Award, the W. H. Smith Literary Award, the Longman/History Today Book Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is a professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London.

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