A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army

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Knopf Canada, Oct 5, 2011 - History - 416 pages
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Edited and translated from the Russian by Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova Knopf Canada is proud to present a masterpiece of the Second World War, never before published in English, from one of the great Russian writers of the 20th century – a vivid eyewitness account of the Eastern Front and “the ruthless truth of war.”

When the Germans invaded Russia in 1941, Vasily Grossman became a special correspondent for the Red Star, the Red Army’s newspaper. A Writer at War – based on the notebooks in which Grossman gathered raw material for his articles – depicts the crushing conditions on the Eastern Front, and the lives and deaths of soldiers and civilians alike. It also includes some of the earliest reportage on the Holocaust. In the three years he spent on assignment, Grossman witnessed some of the most savage fighting of the war: the appalling defeats of the Red Army, the brutal street fighting in Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk (the largest tank engagement in history), the defense of Moscow, the battles in Ukraine and much more.

Historian Antony Beevor has taken Grossman’s raw notebooks, and fashioned them into a narrative providing one of the most even-handed descriptions – at once unflinching and sensitive – we have ever had of what he called “the ruthless truth of war.”

From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 9inchsnails - LibraryThing

Wavered on the star rating for this one, but I'll go with four stars, since it was the reading experience and not the book itself I had trouble with. I read it as an ebook, and it just didn't ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kcshankd - LibraryThing

Worth it for the description of Treblinka alone. As difficult as it was to read, I can't even imagine the interviews and first-hand reporting that went into writing that piece. The eastern fronts have always been neglected, hopefully this will help to rectify that state of affairs. Read full review


Translators Note
PART ONEThe Shock of Invasion1941
ONEBaptism of Fire
TWOThe Terrible Retreat
THREEOn the Bryansk Front
FOURWith the 50th Army
SIXTEENThe October Battles
SEVENTEENThe Tide Turned
PART THREERecovering theOccupied Territories1943
EIGHTEENAfter the Battle
NINETEENWinning Back the Motherland
TWENTYThe Battle of Kursk
PART FOURFrom the Dneprto the Vistula1944
TWENTYONEThe Killing Ground of Berdichev

FIVEBack into the Ukraine
SIXThe German Capture of Orel
SEVENThe Withdrawal before Moscow
PART TWOThe Year of Stalingrad1942
EIGHTIn the South
NINEThe Air War in the South
TENOn the Donets withthe Black Division
ELEVENWith the Khasin Tank Brigade
TWELVEThe Ruthless Truth of War
THIRTEENThe Road to Stalingrad
FOURTEENThe September Battles
FIFTEENThe Stalingrad Academy
TWENTYTWOAcross the Ukraine to Odessa
TWENTYTHREEOperation Bagration
PART FIVEAmid the Ruins of theNazi World1945
TWENTYFIVEWarsaw and Łódź
TWENTYSIXInto the Lair of the Fascist Beast
TWENTYSEVENThe Battle for Berlin
AFTERWORDThe Lies of Victory
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About the author (2011)

Vasily Grossman (1905-1964) came to be regarded as a hero of the Second World War. Life and Fate, his novel about the siege of Stalingrad, was written in 1960 but was declared a threat to the Soviet government and was confiscated by the KGB. Twenty years later it was smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm and published to wide acclaim in the West.

Antony Beevor was educated at Winchester and Sandhurst. A regular officer in the 11th Hussars, he served in Germany and England. He has published several novels, and his works of non-fiction include The Spanish Civil War, Crete: The Battle and the Resistance, which won the 1993 Runciman Award, Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 and Berlin: The Downfall, 1945. With his wife, Artemis Cooper, he wrote Paris: After the Liberation: 1944-1949. His book Stalingrad was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction, the Wolfson History Prize and the Hawthornden Prize in 1999.

From the Hardcover edition.

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