Sunday, March 19, 2017
As I've mentioned, Soviet Roulette is currently on hiatus due to the author's competing academic obligations. However, I do hope to post now and again until I am able to resume this blog in earnest. For the moment, I would just like to briefly mention Rosemary Sullivan's new book, Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva. As I've mentioned previously, Alliluyeva's two memoirs were excellent. In light of the searing honesty of these two books of personal reminiscences, one may not feel like a biography will add all that much to the subject. (And when I write "searing honesty" I have in mind Elroy's book, My Dark Places, which freely acknowledges that nobody is able to do more than confront one's demons as bravely as possible, on a day to day basis). In truth, Sullivan's book does add some objectivity to Alliluyeva's poetic accounts, as well as offering a full account of the subject's fascinating life, which certainly didn't end after the period of time covered in the two autobiographical sketches. Sullivan's book also seems to show us that Stalin's legacy did not end but rather continues to linger almost to this very day. Sullivan's book also reminds us--as if we needed reminding in the age of Trump--that the stories of Russia and American are inextricably linked, for better or worse.