A Writer at War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945

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Vintage books, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 380 pages
46 Reviews
Based on the notebooks in which Vasily Grossman gathered the raw materials for his newspaper articles, this book depicts as never before the crushing condition on the Eastern Front during World War II and the lives and deaths of infantrymen, tank drivers, pilots, snipers, and civilians. Deemed unfit for service when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Grossman became a special correspondent for 'The Red Star, ' the Red Army newspaper. A portly novelist in his mid-thirties with no military experience, he was given a uniform and hastily taught how to use a pistol. Remarkably, he spent three of the next four years at the front, observing with a writer's eye the most pitiless fighting ever recorded. Grossman witnessed almost all the major events of the Eastern Front: the appalling defeats and desperate retreats of 1941, the defense of Moscow, and the fighting in the Ukraine. In August 1942 he was posted to Stalingrad, where he remained during four brutal months of street fighting. Grossman was present at the battle of Kursk (the largest tank engagement in history), and, as the Red Army advanced, he reached Berdichev, where his worst fears for his mother and other relatives were confirmed. A Jew himself, he undertook the faithful recording of Holocaust atrocities as their extent dawned. His supremely powerful report 'The hell of Treblinka' was used in evidence at the Nuremberg tribunal. Anthony Beever, a historian, along with Luba Vinogradova, have woven Grossman's notebooks into a fluid, compelling narrative that gives us one of the best descriptions- at once unflinching and sensitive- of what Grossman called 'the ruthless truth of war.' -- from Publisher.
 

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Unique WWII insight from a Russian perspective. - Goodreads
Breathtakingly powerful writing. - Goodreads
I find the pacing to be quite good. - Goodreads

Review: A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army

User Review  - Nancy Burns - Goodreads

Every book on Goodreads written by Vasily Grossman has a score of 4,5 stars. I've read "An Armenian Sketchbook" and now "Writer at War". If you haven't read this great Russian writer....you are missing out on a great experience. Here is my review: https:// Read full review

Review: A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army

User Review  - Paula - Goodreads

If you're anything like me you have a sad addiction to all things Soviet/Russian & Stalin- evil bastard! This is one of the only existing accounts of a Russian Jew facing German invasion on one side ... Read full review

All 16 reviews »

Contents

Baptism of Fire August 1941
3
The Terrible Retreat August to September 1941
18
On the Bryansk Front September 1941
27
With the 50th Army September 1941
31
Back into the Ukraine September 1941
36
he German Capture of Orel October 1941
45
The Withdrawal before Moscow October 1041
52
PART TWO The Year of Stalingrad 1942
65
With the Khasin Tank Brigade February 1942
95
The Ruthless Truth of War March to July 1942
110
The Road to Stalingrad August 1942
116
The September Battles
132
The Stalingrad Academy Autumn 1942
154
The October Battles
170
The Tide Turned November 1942
190
PART FOUR
245

In the South January 1942
67
The Air War in the South January 1942
79
On the Donets with the Black Division
85
PART FIVE
308
Poznaii and Sclnverin
331
AFTERWORD
344

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About the author (2007)

VASILY GROSSMAN was born in 1905. In 1941 he became a war reporter for the Red Army newspaper Red Star and came to be regarded as a legendary war hero. Life and Fate, his masterpiece, was considered a threat to the totalitarian regime, and Grossman was told that there was no chance of the novel being published for another 200 years. Grossman died in 1964.

ANTONY BEEVOR's books include Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945, which has been translated into 25 languages.

DR. LUBA VINOGRADOVA is a researcher, translator, and freelance journalist. She has worked with Antony Beevor on his three most recent books.

Bibliographic information