Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930's

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9781565842007: Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930's

The result of a unique international collaborative investigation by Russian, French, and Swiss scholars into hundreds of private, unpublished diaries found in remote libraries, archives, and family holdings, Intimacy and Terror paints a broad picture of Russian life in the 1930s, the harshest years of Stalin's reign. From ordinary citizens far removed from political turmoil to those actively engaged in political life, Intimacy and Terror brings us the true-life counterparts we remember from classic Russian fiction.

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From the Back Cover:

More than six years in the making, Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930s is the result of a unique international collaborative investigation by Russian, French, and Swiss scholars into hundreds of private, unpublished diaries found in remote libraries, archives, and family holdings. Intimacy and Terror reveals for the first time the private lives of a broad cross section of Russians during the harshest years of Stalin's purge - not just the now-familiar stories of those who were deported or killed. The ten diaries reveal the day-to-day thoughts of ordinary citizens, some far removed from political turmoil, some closely enmeshed. Together they paint an extraordinarily broad portrait of Russian life in the thirties; their insights into the daily life of that time have astonished even the Russian historians who read the original manuscripts. The diarists range from the ambitious literary bureaucrat who moves forward by denouncing his colleagues to the young unlettered careerist learning the ways of Soviet success; from the wife of a government bureaucrat, who writes in a pure Stalinist prose, to the candid thoughts and uncertainties of a dissident; from a provincial sailor on a distant Arctic vessel to Moscow intellectuals who meet and recount their conversations with Anna Akhmatova. Some of the diarists are wholly oblivious to the terrors of Stalin's purges; others see the failures of the regime as clearly as those writing today. To set the diaries in context, the book begins with a "Chronicle of the Year 1937" - an extraordinary montage comprised of excerpts from the daily newspaper Izvestiya juxtaposed with corresponding entries from a collective farmer's diary - and alsoincludes a chronology of major events in the Soviet Union during the latter half of the decade. The diaries bring us the true-life counterparts of characters we remember from classic Russian literature. Intimacy and Terror provides an unprecedented, intimate view of daily life in Russia at the height of Stalinism.

About the Author:

Véronique Garros, formerly a Moscow contributor to Le Monde, has been researching Russian life in the 1930s for the National Center for Scientific Research.

Natalia Korenevskaya is a writer and scholar living in Moscow, where she works for Progress Publishers.

Thomas Lahusen is a professor of Slavic languages and literature at Duke University, specializing in Soviet literature and culture of the 1930s and 40s.

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Garros, Veronique;Korenevskaya, Natalia
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