Night of stone: death and memory in Russia
Russia has endured more bloodshed than any other European country in the twentieth century. Yet, while countries such as Germany have learned the value of confronting the darker side of their own pasts, Russia has never faced the reality of its troubled history in a meaningful and collective way. In this provocative and highly original book, Catherine Merridale asks Russians difficult questions about how their country's volatile past has affected their everyday lives, their aspirations, their dreams, and their nightmares.Based on extensive research including rare imperial archives, Soviet propaganda, memoirs, letters, newspapers, literature, psychiatric studies, and texts, as well as interviews with doctors, priests, social workers, policemen, survivors, gravediggers, and funeral directors, Night of Stone seeks answers to the questions: What is the true impact of violence in the Soviet century? How successfully have the Russians psychologically rewritten their own histories? What rituals have survived the Soviet regime, and what do they tell us of the Russian mentality? Reminiscent of the highly successful The Hour of Our Death, Night of Stone is an emotionally wrenching, eloquent work that will appeal to all readers of Russian and European history as well as anyone interested in the processes of memory.
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