Latest reviews

One Life, One Kopeck by Walter Duranty

One Life, One Kopeck by Walter Duranty

One Life, One Kopeck by Walter Duranty – is a fiction book published in 1937. It’s rather dark and I gave it only 2 stars. As I am studying Duranty and have a very low opinion of him I might be biased, but I don’t…

Stalinist perpetrators on trial by Lynne Viola

Stalinist perpetrators on trial by Lynne Viola

Stalinist perpetrators on trial by Lynne Viola – Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine – is a fascinating book, well worth reading. The Purges or the Great Terror are well-known. Between 1937 and 1938 over 1.5 million people were arrested and hundreds of…

Modernization from the Other Shore by David Engerman

Modernization from the Other Shore by David Engerman

Modernization from the Other Shore by David Engerman – American Intellectuals and the Romance of Russian Development – is an interesting book, written nicely which might appeal to a wider range of people and not just people in academia. I think the book would have…

A Song of Silence by Steve N. Lee

A Song of Silence by Steve N. Lee

A Song of Silence by Steve N. Lee* is the second book I read by him. The first one was To Dream of Shadows. Both stories take place during WWII and both are inspired by real events. Blurb for A Song of Silence by Steve…

Search for a key by Walter Duranty

Search for a key by Walter Duranty

Search for a key by Walter Duranty – a novel based on his life, but has quite a few details fictionalised. I read it for my studies, it is not a book easy to get and it doesn’t seem to be particularly interesting either. While…

War and the Death of News by Martin Bell

War and the Death of News by Martin Bell

War and the Death of News by Martin Bell – Reflections of a Grade B Reporter – is a lovely book. Martin Bell had an impressive career, read at the end of the post the ‘about the author’ bits if you are not familiar with…

USSR by Walter Duranty

USSR by Walter Duranty

USSR by Walter Duranty is boring. This is particularly intriguing considering how readable his other books are. He was wrong about the soviet union and lied and lied and lied. But, nevertheless, his books were interesting to read, his articles were engaging. This one though…

Angels in Stalin’s Paradise by James William Crowl

Angels in Stalin’s Paradise by James William Crowl

Angels in Stalin’s Paradise by James William Crowl – Western reporters in Soviet Russia, 1917 to 1937, a case study of Louis Fischer and Walter Duranty – is a fascinating book. It was published in 1982 and there are a few inaccuracies, but not particularly…

The Kremlin and the People by Walter Duranty

The Kremlin and the People by Walter Duranty

The Kremlin and the People by Walter Duranty is another book I read for my studies. It is a short 1942 book on Stalin, the Kremlin, the Purges, and Kirov’s murder. Because it was published in 1942, the fact that the book is mostly about…

Fighting Evil by Macer Gifford

Fighting Evil by Macer Gifford

Fighting Evil by Macer Gifford – The Ordinary Man who went to War Against ISIS – is such a wonderful book. I’ve been following Macer on Twitter for a while. He is a Brit fighting alongside the Ukrainians, in the army. This book was written…

I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty

I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty

I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty is a memoir of a British-American journalist who worked from moscow for over a decade, in the interwar period. Because it was firstly published in 1935 I included it in the history section of the blog –…

Communism and Hunger by Andrea Graziosi

Communism and Hunger by Andrea Graziosi

Communism and Hunger by Andrea Graziosi (editor) – The Ukrainian, Chinese, Kazakh, and Soviet Famines in Comparative Perspective – is a book based on presentations given at a conference from 2014. Each author presented a paper on a different topic, on Holodomor, on the Chinese…

Winter in Moscow by Malcolm Muggeridge

Winter in Moscow by Malcolm Muggeridge

The review for Winter in Moscow by Malcolm Muggeridge will be short, mainly because it is a book hard to find, published in mid-1930s, and I doubt there will be many readers interested in reading this book. Which is a shame because I liked the…

Putin’s Russia by Anna Politkovskaya

Putin’s Russia by Anna Politkovskaya

I had high expectations from Putin’s Russia by Anna Politkovskaya. It was disappointing. Politkovskaya had a rather liberal russian approach, which is not particularly anti-imperialistic. I will use some quotes from the book to highlight what is wrong with this approach. Nevertheless, I would recommend…

The Ethics of Journalism by Nelson Antrim Crawford

The Ethics of Journalism by Nelson Antrim Crawford

The Ethics of Journalism by Nelson Antrim Crawford is the first book of its kind, published in 1924. It is a fascinating book, well worth reading, although it’s unlikely it is easy to find. I recommend this book for non-researchers for a simple reason –…

The Red Trade Menace by H R Knickerbocker

The Red Trade Menace by H R Knickerbocker

The Red Trade Menace by H R Knickerbocker was published in 1931 and it contains the 24 articles he wrote as a series for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1931. These articles are about the first 5-year plan of the ussr. Thus, this…