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Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet…

Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (1993)

by David Remnick

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9281314,548 (4.18)24

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My and I were driving to Columbus, OH in 2007 for a work seminar for her new job. We heard about Boris Yeltsin's death on NPR. The palace coup, Yeltsin's dancing on TV and the two Chechnyean wars occupied the next stretch of our drive. I found this book in a shop in Columbus a few days later and snatched it on the spot.

Remnick approaches his subject with an even hand. There is no Western arrogance about matters. When he discovers fault, he reports it.

I remember when Yeltsin resigned. I was going to a fancy soiree w/ some friends for New Years (don't ask) There was no way in 1999 one could predict the steely constictions of the Putin Imperium. Remnick's book offers a sober nudge to all predictions concerning Russian politics. The same can be said for political animals from almost every other land as well. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
It was an easy and interesting read about how the popular view changed regarding the party and communism in the decades leading up to the fall of the USSR. He made some prescient predictions about the KGB maintaining power after all was said and done. I wonder how well his interpretation of events holds up with the current historical approach to the era. If you are interested in the transitional period of Russia, then you will enjoy this book. ( )
  FriskySquirrel | Nov 27, 2018 |
Insightful and well-written. I read this book in conjuction with other books on this era and/or geopolitical background spanning many eras. Balkan Ghost by Robert Kaplan is a very good read and compliment to Remnick's book. ( )
1 vote trek520 | Dec 7, 2015 |
A fascinating account of the end of perestroika and glasnost by one who was there, who had access to the principals and can tell a very good -- and often disturbing -- tale. Remnick reported for the Washington Post, and was posted to Moscow during the final years of Communist Party rule. What is clear is that the rule of the Party failed because it rotted out from within: corruption, drunkenness and the Marie Antoinette "Let them eat cake" syndrome. He delves back into Soviet history to see the trends: first admission of Stalinist "mistakes," then the revelation of the atrocities of that era, finally Lenin himself is debunked by a people fed up with an economy and society of fear that simply didn't work. Remnick's research is not only first class, but his skills in telling the story are also of the highest quality. Read him not only to learn about the end of Communism, but also to learn how to write better.
1 vote KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
The Decline and Fall of Soviet Russia. Describes the ignominy and total corruption of the state, and the horrors and drudgery that the Soviet people endured, with penetrating detail. Excellent reading, and highly recommended for anybody interested in the era. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
David Remnick, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (1994). Remnick won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for his brilliant retelling of the Soviet Union’s final days. He had a front-row seat in witnessing the Soviet demise; starting in January 1988 he served a four-year stint as the Washington Post’s Moscow correspondent. In Lenin’s Tomb, he draws on the many conversations he had with Russians inside and outside of government to explain Mikhail Gorbachev’s push for reforms and why they led to the collapse of communism rather than its rebirth.
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The struggle of man against power
is the struggle of memory against forgetting.
Milan Kundera
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On a dreary summer's day, Colonel Aleksandr Tretetsky of the Soviet Military Prosecutor's Office arrived at this latest work site: a series of mass graves in a birch forest twenty miles outside of the city of Kalinin.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679751254, Paperback)

"...the most eloquent chronicle of the Soviet empire's demise." --Washington Post Book World

"...an extraordinary confluence of observation, hard work, knowledge, and reflection; a better book by a journalist on the withdrawing roar of the Soviet Union is hard to imagine." --The New York Times Book Review

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize One of the Best Books of the Year: The New York Times  From the editor of The New Yorker: a riveting account of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which has become the standard book on the subject. Lenin's Tomb combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. Remnick takes us through the tumultuous 75-year period of Communist rule leading up to the collapse and gives us the voices of those who lived through it, from democratic activists to Party members, from anti-Semites to Holocaust survivors, from Gorbachev to Yeltsin to Sakharov. An extraordinary history of an empire undone, Lenin's Tomb stands as essential reading for our times.   

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