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Winner of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction A New York Times Notable Book of 2015 A painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators – her father, Josef Stalin.
âe~Compassionate and compelling, this is not a political story but a quest for love in the heart of darknessâe(tm) Simon Sebag Montefiore âe~A biography on an epic scale, with a combination of tragedy and history worthy of a Russian novelâe(tm) Independent âe~Superbly well toldâe(tm) Sunday Times Who was Svetlana Alliluyeva? A little girl, her fatherâe(tm)s only daughter, his âeoelittle sparrowâe ; instructed to bury her secrets in her heart by her mother, who shot herself soon after. An observer as her relatives were mercilessly killed and her first love exiled. A woman who tore through relationships with men, joined and abandoned various religions, and became the most famous defector to the United States. The victim of an inescapable truth: âeoeYou are Stalinâe(tm)s daughter. . . . You canâe(tm)t live your own life. You canâe(tm)t live any life. You exist only in reference to a name.âe
You wouldn’t believe it, but . . .James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, grew up mute.Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.Albert Einstein was bullied mercilessly in school.Beethoven’s mom almost aborted him.Life takes the strangest sharp turns—and sometimes, U-turns. Robert Petterson—popular speaker, storyteller, and author—has been a student for his entire life of what God is teaching us through those real-life U-turns. In this book, he compiles 365 amazing stories that teach lessons you won’t easily forget. Each entry is written in the rest-of-the-story style popularized by Paul Harvey. With The One Year Book of Amazing Stories, you’ll marvel at how God has used the lives of these ordinary people to change the course of human history.
Running from her father’s brutal legacy, Joseph Stalin’s daughter defects to the United States during the turbulence of the 1960s. For fans of We Were the Lucky Ones and A Gentleman in Moscow, this sweeping historical novel and unexpected love story is inspired by the remarkable life of Svetlana Alliluyeva. “I read this lustrous novel in a single great draught. It is such a fine portrait of Stalin’s daughter—a difficult, complicated, and deeply sympathetic woman.”—Lauren Groff In one of the most momentous events of the Cold War, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the only daughter of the Soviet despot Joseph Stalin, abruptly abandoned her life in Moscow in 1967, arriving in New York to throngs of reporters and a nation hungry to hear her story. By her side is Peter Horvath, a young lawyer sent by the CIA to smuggle Svetlana into America. She is a contradictory celebrity: charismatic and headstrong, lonely and haunted, excited and alienated by her adopted country’s radically different society. Persuading herself that all she yearns for is a simple American life, she attempts to settle into a suburban existence in Princeton, New Jersey. But one day an invitation from the widow of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright arrives, and Svetlana impulsively joins her cultlike community at Taliesin West. When this dream ends in disillusionment, Svetlana reaches out to Peter, the one person who understands how the chains of her past still hold her prisoner. Their relationship changes and deepens, moving from America to England to the Soviet Union and back again, unfolding under the eyes of her CIA minders, and Svetlana’s and Peter’s private lives are no longer their own. Novelist John Burnham Schwartz’s father was in fact the young lawyer who escorted Svetlana Alliluyeva to the United States. Drawing upon private papers and years of extensive research, Schwartz imaginatively re-creates the story of an extraordinary, troubled woman’s search for a new life and a place to belong, in the powerful, evocative prose that has made him an acclaimed author of literary and historical fiction. Advance praise for The Red Daughter “Svetlana Alliluyeva’s life was endlessly fascinating, often heartbreaking, and ultimately heroic. I don’t think any writer alive could have told her story more beautifully than John Burnham Schwartz.”—David Benioff, co-creator of HBO’s Game of Thrones and author of City of Thieves “The Red Daughter is an intimate, intricate look at the collision of geopolitics with a private life: surprising and engaging from beginning to end.”—Jennifer Egan
A SUNDAY TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 'A brilliant, compelling, propulsively written, magnificent tour de force' Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard 'The second volume of what will surely rank as one of the greatest historical achievements of our age ... The War and Peace of history: a book you fear you will never finish, but just cannot put down' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times Well before 1929, Stalin had achieved dictatorial power over the Soviet empire, but now he decided that the largest peasant economy in the world would be transformed into socialist modernity, whatever it took. What it took, and what Stalin managed to force through, transformed the country and its ruler in profound and enduring ways. Rather than a tale of a deformed or paranoid personality creating a political system, this is a story of a political system shaping a personality. Building and running a dictatorship, with power of life or death over hundreds of millions, in conditions of capitalist self-encirclement, made Stalin the person he became. Wholesale collectivization of agriculture, some 120 million peasants, necessitated levels of coercion that were extreme even for Russia, but Stalin did not flinch; the resulting mass starvation and death elicited criticism inside the party even from those Communists committed to the eradication of capitalism. By 1934, when the situation had stabilized and socialism had been built in the countryside too, the internal praise came for his uncanny success in anticapitalist terms. But Stalin never forgot and never forgave, with bloody consequences as he strove to consolidate the state with a brand new elite. Stalin had revived a great power with a formidable industrialized military. But the Soviet Union was effectively alone, with no allies and enemies perceived everywhere. The quest to find security would bring Soviet Communism into an improbable pact with Nazi Germany. But that bargain did not work out as envisioned. The lives of Stalin and Hitler, and the fates of their respective countries, drew ever closer to collision. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler: 1929-1941 is, like its predecessor Stalin: Paradoxes of Power: 1878-1928, nothing less than a history of the world from Stalin's desk. It is also, like its predecessor, a landmark achievement in the annals of the biographer's art. Kotkin's portrait captures the vast structures moving global events, and the intimate details of decision-making.
This book is about memory, the power of memory, the weight of memory, the presence of memory. Its about how memory works, and its about how memory moves and shapes us, profoundly and deeply, every moment of every day. Most of all, however, its about how memory points us to some questions that, try as we might, we cannot elude altogether, questions that force us to confront the very nature of existence. Suppose that no one, no one at all, remembered us? Suppose that no one, no one at all, remembered the universe? How can we make sense of a world that one day will be utterly gone and forgotten? Memory makes us speak of things we may not want to accept or understand, thrusts us into things lying beyond what we can picture, imagine, or know. Twisting itself around our heart and burrowing into our soul, memory stretches us. It stretches us to ponder purpose, it stretches us to consider meaning. Memory forces us to think about how unbearably complex we, and this bewildering world, can be if nothing precedes or follows them. Memory opens our heart to God.
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