Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

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9780062206107: Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Stalin's Daughteris a work of narrative non-fiction on a grand scale, combining popular history and biography to tell the incredible story of a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history's most monstrous dictators.

Svetlana Stalina, who died on November 22, 2011, at the age of eighty-five, was the only daughter and the last surviving child of Josef Stalin. Beyond Stalina's controversial defection to the US in a cloak-and-dagger escape via India in 1967, her journey from life as the beloved daughter of a fierce autocrat to death in small-town Wisconsin is an astonishing saga.

Publicly she was the young darling of her people; privately she was controlled by a tyrannical father who dictated her every move, even sentencing a man she loved to ten years' hard labour in Siberia. Svetlana burned her passport soon after her arrival in New York City and renounced both her father and the USSR. She married four times and had three children. Her last husband was William Wesley Peters, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's chief apprentice, with whom she lived at Taliesin West, Wright's desert compound in Arizona. In 1984, she returned to the Soviet Union, this time renouncing the US, and then reappeared in America two years later, claiming she had been manipulated by her homeland. She spoke four languages and was politically shrewd, even warning in the late '90s of the consequences of the rise to power of former KGB officer Vladimir Putin. A woman shaped and torn apart by her father's legacy, Svetlana Stalina spent her final years as a nomad, shuttling between England, France and the US.

In her research forStalin's Daughter, Rosemary Sullivan had the full co-operation of Svetlana's American daughter, Olga. Rosemary interviewed dozens of people who knew Svetlana, including family and friends in Moscow and the CIA agent who was in charge of moving her from India when she defected. She also drew on family letters and on KGB, CIA, FBI, NARA and British Foreign Office files.

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Product Description:

The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with 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.

Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father.

As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. But although she was never a part of her father’s regime, she could not escape his legacy. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life in a masterful account of unprecedented intimacy. Epic in scope, it’s a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without ever losing sight of her powerfully human story, in the process opening a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate us.

Illustrated with photographs.

From the Back Cover:

Born in 1926, Svetlana Alliluyeva spent her youth inside the Kremlin as her father's power soared along with that of the Soviet Union. Eighty-five years later, she died alone and penniless in rural Wisconsin as Lana Peters. Revealed here for the first time, the many lives of Joseph Stalin's daughter form a riveting portrait of a woman who fled halfway around the world to escape her birthright.

Svetlana was protected from the mass starvation and murder that her father inflicted upon Soviet citizens, but she was not immune to tragedy. She lost almost everyone she loved, including her mother, who committed suicide, and her father's merciless purges claimed the lives of aunts and uncles, and her lover, who was exiled to Siberia.

After her father's death, Svetlana discovered the extent of his cruelty. Balking at the control the Kremlin still exerted over her life, she shocked the world by defecting to the United States at the height of the Cold War—leaving behind two children. However, in America Svetlana found only more heartbreak. For a time, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin community, overseen by his controversial third wife, Olgivanna, formed a second family for her; Svetlana married Wesley Peters, a member of the inner circle, and they had a child. But Olgivanna manipulated their friendship for financial gain, and the marriage disintegrated. No matter how much distance she put between her past and her present, she could not undo the emotional and psychological damage her father had wrought.

With access to FBI, CIA, and Russian State Archives, and with the close cooperation of Svetlana's daughter, Rosemary Sullivan has created a masterly biography that is epic in scope yet narrated with remarkable intimacy. Stalin's Daughter deftly places Svetlana in a broader context of time and place, without losing sight of her powerfully human story. In the process, this multifaceted narrative reveals the heart of a brutal world and offers an unprecedented look at its mastermind.

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Book Description Harper, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 229 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Born in 1926, Svetlana Alliluyeva spent her youth inside the Kremlin as her father s power soared along with that of the Soviet Union. Eighty-five years later, she died alone and penniless in rural Wisconsin as Lana Peters. Revealed here for the first time, the many lives of Joseph Stalin s daughter form a riveting portrait of a woman who fled halfway around the world to escape her birthright. Svetlana was protected from the mass starvation and murder that her father inflicted upon Soviet citizens, but she was not immune to tragedy. She lost almost everyone she loved, including her mother, who committed suicide, and her father s merciless purges claimed the lives of aunts and uncles, and her lover, who was exiled to Siberia.After her father s death, Svetlana discovered the extent of his cruelty. Balking at the control the Kremlin still exerted over her life, she shocked the world by defecting to the United States at the height of the Cold War leaving behind two children. However, in America Svetlana found only more heartbreak. For a time, Frank Lloyd Wright s Taliesin community, overseen by his controversial third wife, Olgivanna, formed a second family for her; Svetlana married Wesley Peters, a member of the inner circle, and they had a child. But Olgivanna manipulated their friendship for financial gain, and the marriage disintegrated. No matter how much distance she put between her past and her present, she could not undo the emotional and psychological damage her father had wrought. With access to FBI, CIA, and Russian State Archives, and with the close cooperation of Svetlana s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan has created a masterly biography that is epic in scope yet narrated with remarkable intimacy. Stalin s Daughter deftly places Svetlana in a broader context of time and place, without losing sight of her powerfully human story. In the process, this multifaceted narrative reveals the heart of a brutal world and offers an unprecedented look at its mastermind. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062206107

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