The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliadis

The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliadis – From the Great Depression to the Gulags: Hope and Betrayal in Stalin’s russia – is a book any American should read. It might sound a bit much, but it’s not. This book is about US as much as it is about russia/ussr. This book is, in my view, mainly on American failure. Failure to report accurately from moscow, failure to send a proper ambassador and diplomats after the ussr was recognized, failure to take care of their own citizens, failure to ask for the return of their citizens. Of course, it is also a failure of the soviets, thus a story of terror and of death.

The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliadis

In the early 1930s thousands of men, women, and children left US to go to the ussr. They wanted what capitalism has promised and not delivered – jobs, stability, dignity of having work, racial equality. Their lives were ruined because the ussr was a Potemkin country based on propaganda and nothing more. Many of them lost their lives and this book documents their stories.

It is a remarkable book, with a beautiful and easy to read narrative, with heartbreaking details about the Americans who were lied to by both westerners (e.g. George Bernard Shaw) and soviets. I felt time and time again upset to read about these people who wanted to have a better life and trusted with tragic consequences that the ones in power (diplomats, journalists) would have the moral standing to tell the truth. The lives of the Americans who emigrated to the ussr go beyond their lifetime and Tzouliadis looks at what happened to their children as well.

The book is available and not particularly expensive considering how important it is (under $20 or £14). Buy it. Read it.

The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliadis

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: YES!
Published by: Abacus
Year it was published: 2009
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History – russia and US
Pages: 498

About the author: Tim Tzouliadis was born in Greece. He is a writer and filmmaker. Born in 1968, he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University, and went on to pursue a career in television current affairs and documentary-making for Channel 4, BBC2, NBC Television and National Geographic Television. He lives in London.
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