The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia

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Penguin UK, Sep 4, 2008 - History - 784 pages
Drawing on a huge range of sources - letters, memoirs, conversations - Orlando Figes tells the story of how Russians tried to endure life under Stalin. Those who shaped the political system became, very frequently, its victims. Those who were its victims were frequently quite blameless. The Whisperers recreates the sort of maze in which Russians found themselves, where an unwitting wrong turn could either destroy a family or, perversely, later save it: a society in which everyone spoke in whispers - whether to protect themselves, their families, neighbours or friends - or to inform on them.

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User Review  - arubabookwoman - LibraryThing

During Stalin's reign of terror, 25 million people were either shot by execution squads, or were gulag prisoners, were kulaks sent to special settlements, or were slave laborers. These 'repressed ... Read full review

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User Review  - William345 - LibraryThing

There's a quote by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn that Steven Pinker uses in Better Angels of Our Nature: Macbeth's self-justifications were feeble--and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a ... Read full review

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Selected pages


List of Illustrations
The Great Break 192832
The Pursuit of Happiness 19326
Remnants of Terror 193841
Wait For Me 19415
Ordinary Stalinists 194553
Memory 19562006
Afterword and Acknowledgements

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About the author (2008)

Orlando Figes is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. His books include A People’s Tragedy and Natasha’s Dance.

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