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Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century

Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Summary

If Vasily Grossman's 1961 masterpiece, Life and Fate, had been published during his lifetime, it would have reached the world together with Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago and before Solzhenitsyn's Gulag. But Life and Fate was seized by the Russian KGB. When it emerged posthumously, decades later, it was recognized as the War and Peace of the 20th century. 

Always at the epicenter of events, Grossman (1905-1964) was among the first to describe the Holocaust and the Ukrainian famine. His 1944 article "The Hell of Treblinka" became evidence at the Nuremberg trials. Grossman's powerful anti-totalitarian works liken the Nazis' crimes against humanity with those of Stalin.

We are only now able to examine Grossman's prose, which has the everlasting quality of great art, as well as his life and legacy, which Popoff's authoritative biography illuminates.

©2019 Alexandra Popoff (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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A Humbling Experience

It was a fascinating and humbling experience, to listen to the dignity, lucidity, humanity and courage of a man whose people faced unimaginable and unremitting hardship, terror and repression.
Vasily Grossman's indomitable will to bear witness to his time, puts him alongside Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel.

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Very badly edited for listening

Bearing in mind the story of this fascinating book, did Blackwood Publishing's sound editor belong to the Soviet apparatchiki who did so much to prevent Vassily Grossman's work from being seen? The sound editing made me furious. Or was the reader a computer generated voice? By not giving a moment's space between chapters, or even sentences, it was often difficult to make sense of the text. The reader has a huge responsibility to the author and the text and I felt this sloppiness in the editing process was an insult.
Bearing this is mind, and having persevered with a bad listening experience (but the authentic russian voice was great) this is a wonderful and illuminating book to prepare for reading Life and Fate and Stalingrad. I would recommend people to complain to Audible or re edit the sound. Or just read it as a book......

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  • James Messelbeck
  • 25-06-19

What? Nazism = communism?

Popoff finally writes the historical truth other historians dance around though never identifying the two ideologies as isomers of each other. Can’t wait to listen to Life and Fate. I hope Audible produces Grossman’s Stalingrad soon.

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  • Jeff Lacy
  • 16-01-20

Courageous Russian writer

Vasily Grossman was a humanist, intellectual, and journalist, essayist, and novelist. He described the Russian soldiers’ experience on the front line at Stalingrad, following the Red Army through the gates of Nazi death camps, battling the Stalinists for the publication of his fiction. Enlightening and engaging, it brings the social, political, economic, intellectual, military, and literary history of the USSR.