Lenin's Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire eBook

Lenin's Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire ❮Ebook❯ ➫ Lenin's Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire ➬ Author David Remnick – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk In the tradition of John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with th In the The Last PDF/EPUB ä tradition of John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism A moving illumination Remnick is the witness for us all —Wall Street Journal.


10 thoughts on “Lenin's Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

  1. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    Society is sick of history It is too much with us Arseny Roginsky uoted in David Remnick Lenin's TombWhile Remnick was writing for the Washington Post in Moscow my family was living in Izmir Turkey and then in Bitburg Germany We got the opportunity to travel to Moscow shortly after the August 1991 the beginning of my Senior year Coup It was a strange period So much changed so fast I was trading my Levi jeans in St Petersburg and Moscow for Communist flags Army medals busts of Lenin It was only as I got older that I realized both how crazy the USSRRussia was during that time and how blessed the Washington Post was to have David Remnick writing home about itI've read other books by Remnick The Bridge The Life and Rise of Barack Obama and King of the World Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero and parts of Reporting Writings from The New Yorker The New Yorker is where I discovered and fell in love with his prose So with Remnick I was reading backwards It was time I read what is perhaps his greatest work Lenin's Tomb is a comprehensive look at the last years of the Soviet Union from the election of Gorbachev with occasional backward glances at Khrushchev etc It was nice to get information about Andrei Sakharov I knew only broad aspects of his story and still need to read and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn I know about him but need to read of his workSome of this isn't dated No That is the wrong word It is history and by definition all history is dated but the book ends with a lot of potential energy It is sad to see that a lot of the potential for Russia's democracy has been lost into the authoritarianism of Putin It is also scary to read uotes from Vladimir Zhirinovsky and unabaashed neofacists who won 8 million votes in 1991 and hear words that could easily have been spoken by Donald Trump Nations and regimes are never as solid as we think Often the corruption that exists for years like a cavity eats away at the insitutions until they become empty husks and everything colapses Perhaps that is one lesson WE in the United States and Europe should learn from the Soviet Union's collapse in the early 90s Perhaps it is too lateSome of my random pieces by Remnick related to RussiaNotes From Underground Review of John McPhee's The Ransom of Russian ArtThe Historical Truth Telling of Arseny RoginskyTrump Putin and the New Cold War


  2. Maru Kun Maru Kun says:

    If you are a hard line communist apparatchik about to launch a coup d’état against those who libel World Socialism and defame the noble memory of Stalin then here is some advice plan your coup well and don’t confuse planning with plottingThis is plotting the traitor Yeltsin will be arrested and held accountable for his crimes; Yanev will replace him as President of a new USSR its historic glory restoredThis is planning Yeltsin will be arrested at his Dacha in Vnukovo at 0400 hours on 19 August by a contingent of five trusted soldiers of the Felix Dzerhinsky division dispatched from the Nemchinovka barracks at 0333 travelling south west on the road to KrasnoznamenskThe August 1991 coup by soviet hardliners was very well plotted but wholly lacking in planningWhy wasn’t the Russian Parliament building the White House sealed and surrounded to prevent the Russian democratic parliamentarians from taking refuge in it copying the techniues of democratic supporters in Vilnius only a few months before? How did Yeltsin drive past whole brigades of tanks to make his last stand there? Why were practically none of the people on the arrest list actually arrested?Here is some advice lock up the drinks cabinet Being ‘zapoi’ – the Russian word for several days of drunkenness when one withdraws from society – seemed to be a reuirement for high office in a restored Soviet State If the plotters had sobered up enough to issue some half decent emergency decrees and order a few summary executions they would have probably succeededOf Yanayev made President of Russia by the plotters He was a vain man of small intelligence a womanizer and a drunk I'm not sure it is possible to describe just how hard it is to acuire a reputation as a drunk in Russia My Thai friend told me that there were so many coups in the country because Thailand has a food surplus Demonstrators on the barricades are never uite hungry enough to decisively overthrow the state; at the end of the day they can go back home and eat This seems to explain the deteriorating uality of the Russian coup over the seventy odd years from 1917 to 1991 The plotters lived a life of privilege of Zils Dachas and caviar They just weren’t hungry enoughGorbachov started channeling Shakespeare around 1985 Like Lear he had a vision of a harmonious state failing to foresee how vested interests and human rivalry would make it impossible; like Hamlet he is suspicious and not as innocent as he seems but is also vacillating and indecisive at key junctures; like Macbeth he believes he is bigger than the situation headed for a greater destiny When the curtain closes he is reviled by all sides and lucky to be aliveThe audience to this play is kept in a state of high dramatic tension Gorbachov is blind to his friends of forty years changing to enemies oblivious as they cut him off from rivals who in truth are the only people he can trust For God’s sake Gorbachov the butler did it Of course the Head of the KGB is plotting your downfall It isn’t the State Minster for Woman’s Issues that’s going to knife you in the back for heaven’s sakeThis is a great book well deserving of its Pulitzer Prize The tension grows leading up to the final section with details of the coupIf this was a thriller it would all be too thrilling But as a work of non fiction reality intrudes with all its messy reality Events are driven by dumb luck ambition personal grudges and – that key to understanding all human endeavors routine incompetence Even so some outstanding characters worthy of the finest novelist appear on its pages saints – Sakharov; villains – Ligachev; buffoons – Yanayev; tragic heroes Gorbachov YeltsinThe events of August 1991 in Russia have faded into memory Things could have gone much worse for Russia and the world that summer But as observers saw at the time once these events were over and done with Russia’s future remained very uncertain as it still remains today


  3. Chris Chris says:

    just incredible this is without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read I don't have any deep interest in SovietRussian history but Remnick's writing is mesmerizing And clever plus it contains one of the best lines I've ever read I'm not sure it is possible to describe just how hard it is to acuire a reputation as a drunk in Russia


  4. Dem Dem says:

    Having to put this one on hold for awhile as while I was loving the book wasn't I wasn't happy with the audio version as this is one that needs to be read in order to underline and get the best from the book and my Library trying to source a copy for me as they don't have one in stock Terrific read so far and really hoping I get my hands on a hard copy soon


  5. Gini Gini says:

    This book an account of the collapse of the Soviet Union published in 1993 humbled me in many ways First and foremost it's hard to come to terms with how uniformed I was during the time of periostrika I had no idea of how Gorbachev lost his way during the transition and Boris Yeltsin's leading role in it From watching them on the US news I thought Yeltsin was just kind of a drunk and a boob and Gorbachev a noble man Regardless of his behavior while Russia's elected leader Yeltson was a brave and impressive activist for changeAnd the author David Remnick's power of reportage and writing talent is eually humbling I had no prior interest in the subject material I picked up this book in my mother's bedroom and opened it without intending to read Anyone who can get an initially unmotivated reader to be wondering what happens next in a 500 page book on contemporary Russian history is a masterful story teller For me with the exception of some impatience I felt toward the end this was a page turner No wonder Reminick's head at the New Yorker I don;'t know whether Remnick has followed up on the aftermath but it'd would be intriguing to learn his take on modern moscow When I visited a journalist friend there in 2008 the impression that lingered with me is that capitalism is a razor sharp double edged sword


  6. Cora Cora says:

    I was about 100 pages into LENIN'S TOMB before I realized what this book was I had it in my head that it would be a traditional top down story about perestroika glasnost and the fall of the Soviet Union a fly on the wall story in the corridors of power What Remnick is after is arguably ambitious and interesting he's trying to chart the changing of attitudes that precipitated the collapse of the Soviet state in 1991 Perhaps I should have taken a clue from Remnick's THE BRIDGE which adopts a similar structure to explore the significance of Obama's 2008 electionHis approach has a loose narrative through line but is generally kaleidoscopic traveling from miners' strikes in central Asia to nationalist protests in the Balkans from the swaggering 'millionaires' who used arbitrage opportunities left by poor central planning to profit handsomely to the aging Stalinists who see the decline of collectivism in the same way that American evangelicals see the rise of gay marriage It is best in presenting a series of memorable moments in the passage from one regime to another young Communists in Leningrad cheering for Gordon Gecko in an official screening of WALL STREET; 'Miss KGB' a beauty ueen who does photo ops for the secret police to sell a pro perestroika message she reminded me of the CIA twitter feed; and the self pity of Party officials who for the first time have to deal with angry calls from constituents about garbage collection and potholesRemnick's thesis is that perestroika enabled a rare moment where the general population of Russia could engage with its history and where attempts to dislodge the truth about the Soviet state were of general concern With his focus on memory and atrocity Remnick often reminded me of the documentary THE ACT OF KILLING about the atrocities that accompanied Suharto's rise to power LENIN'S TOMB often has a similarly searing uality to itIf I have a complaint and perhaps this is unfair for a book written in 1993 it's that the kaleidoscopic uality makes it a little hard to see causality The book's strongest portion concerns the August 1991 coup which is a straightforward story involving many of the figures already profiled in the book that demonstrates Remnick's thesis about the changing attitudes Although as I'm writing this I'm not sure why I felt as if Remnick not being strong on the narrative was a failing; THE PROMISE OF THE NEW SOUTH is one of my favorite history books of all time and that's pure kaleidoscope Perhaps it's that Remnick is trying to show a process of change but his style sometimes obscures that processI picked up this book because I've been thinking about Russia a lot lately and I thought it would help me understand that country a bit I feel as if it certainly did so and I would recommend it


  7. Mikey B. Mikey B. says:

    A stupendous chronicling of history in the making We are presented with several differing viewpoints on the collapse of the Soviet regime and its splintering in these truly tumultuous years As the author points out whereas other empires like England took decades to recede and change – this took place within a few years Within days sometimes overwhelming transitions took placeThe efficacy of this book is the internal focus on the people in the country itself; there is none of this hyperbole on how Ronald Reagan solely dismantled the evil empire The book is about the Soviet Union – there is little on the break away of the Eastern Bloc countries like Poland or East Germany Mr Remnick presents us with a wide array of people across this vast land – from various dissidents to various neo Stalinists We experience their anguish as the grim and brutal history of their country becomes revealed as once secret archives are exposedThis book is well written engaging and sprinkled with some wry humour If you are interested in this epoch it is a truly marvellous and first hand account


  8. Jonfaith Jonfaith says:

    My and I were driving to Columbus OH in 2007 for a work seminar for her new job We heard about Boris Yeltsin's death on NPR The palace coup Yeltsin's dancing on TV and the two Chechnyean wars occupied the next stretch of our drive I found this book in a shop in Columbus a few days later and snatched it on the spotRemnick approaches his subject with an even hand There is no Western arrogance about matters When he discovers fault he reports itI remember when Yeltsin resigned I was going to a fancy soiree w some friends for New Years don't ask There was no way in 1999 one could predict the steely constictions of the Putin Imperium Remnick's book offers a sober nudge to all predictions concerning Russian politics The same can be said for political animals from almost every other land as well


  9. Max Max says:

    This is history told with verve We see how the corruption and repression of the Communist Party led to its downfall We witness the Soviet Union disintegrate We are there as it happens with interviews of participants from striking coal miners and political prisoners to top officials and leading dissidents Particularly fascinating is the portrayal of Gorbachev as the tragic transitional figure with one foot in the future and one foot that could never leave the past He starts down the road to change but cannot envision where that road will lead Overtaken and cast aside by the democratic forces he unleashes the reformer who broke the chains of Bolshevism ends up disillusioned and bitter Remnick shows how history itself is an agent of change The turning point was facing the truth of Soviet history Tightly controlled since Stalin’s consolidation of power in 1928 Russians were fed a mythological version touting the greatness of the Party and its tyrannical leaders Young students were indoctrinated through The Short Course text taught in all Soviet schools Disagreement was severely punished In 1956 Khrushchev denounced Stalin and his purges in his “Secret Speech” given only to the Party Congress The truth began to leak out amidst Khrushchev’s “thaw” But when Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev in 1964 the Soviet Union entered a neo Stalinist era of renewed repression Russia was deeply divided The right wing Stalin’s defenders had their identities intertwined with his and his mythological history The millions murdered and imprisoned had been enemies of the state disruptors of the order and deniers of the greatness of Russia On the left were the dissidents the minorities the oppressed the families of the victims They knew the truth but it took great courage to speak out against the belligerent right with the KGB on their side The key was the control of history As the Stalinist’s lost it their dominance eroded Gorbachev grew up in simple circumstances His academic success earned him admission to law school at Moscow State University where unlike other courses of study students were exposed to traditional Western thought from Roman law to the US Constitution He and many supporters led double lives maintaining Party loyalty while instigating change Gorbachev survived and prospered by keeping his thoughts to himself until the right time A clever politician he carefully orchestrated his television and media image Gorbachev took over in 1985 with his policy of glasnost Russia began to come to terms with its past In 1986 he allowed Andrei Sakharov to return to Moscow from internal exile in Gorky The physicist turned dissident spoke out with influential moral authority Gorbachev’s speech in 1987 on the 70th anniversary of the October revolution while praising the Party recounted Stalin’s crimes By 1989 many previously forbidden books were becoming publicly available including Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago and Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago The Communist Party was a mafia Corruption and bribery were the norm Everyone participated from the lowest service worker to the very top of the party Jobs and perks were controlled by the Party The Party elite lived in beautiful dachas with access to the finest Western goods Leaders in some regions lived like kings in their fiefdoms But most Soviet citizens lived in or near poverty Everyday items taken for granted in the West were not affordable for most people and those available were of vastly inferior uality Workers toiled in primitive conditions in factories that spewed pollution sickening the residents Farms were so badly managed they barely functioned at all Working in the mines was the worst Soap wasn’t even available to wash with Mine waste made lakes so toxic that they dissolved bones Not surprisingly miners were the first to strike in 1989 This was the beginning of the end Eastern Europe was in turmoil and the Baltic States would soon lead the collapse of the Soviet Union itself Just as Khrushchev could not take the next step after denouncing Stalin in his Secret Speech so too could Gorbachev only go so far in his perestroika While for party reform he was against true democracy with multiple parties While delegitimizing Stalin he held onto the myth of Lenin Despite Sakharov’s warning to Gorbachev that the only viable course was to come completely over to the side of the dissidents Gorbachev straddled moving ahead blindly with no plan The old guard fought him tooth and nail but they too would not prevail As the truth came out everyone saw that Lenin and the Party was culpable of horrendous crimes against society Gorbachev unwilling to go that far would also be swept aside As things unfolded he became conservativeIn March 1990 the first elections allowing new parties were held New times also meant a new breed of young entrepreneurs began set up shop Some were wildly successful ignoring the law and became rich Crime including protection rackets followed Crime once the sole province of the Party was now open to everyone Young Russians fell in love with American pop culture the music the Hollywood stars even baseball and then there was McDonalds Things were changing fast The 1990 Mayday parade in Moscow showed how far the dissidents had come In the regular parade the usual communist propaganda slogans were gone and in the parade that followed dissidents openly criticized the party and extolled freedom for the Soviet Republics Gorbachev put on a good face but clearly was upset On October 16 1990 one day after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize Gorbachev rejected the 500 Day Plan to dismantle the old order and initiate capitalism This step back to forestall an attempt at counter revolution by the right wing and KGB would not work In December 1990 Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze resigned saying a new dictatorship was coming The first politically independent newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” began and openly criticized the Party Gorbachev defended the Party and increasingly became its hostage In January 1991 tanks rolled into Lithuania in a botched attempt to depose the government which had declared its independence Gorbachev was now completely discredited as a reform leader In June 1991 Yeltsin who had outmaneuvered the hardliners by changing the law to call for direct election of the Russian President was elected President of Russia Yeltsin could now challenge Gorbachev the President of the rapidly imploding Soviet UnionIn August 1991 the old guard many of whom Gorbachev trusted led an ill fated coup attempt Poor planning and lack of the brutal will of their Bolshevik antecedents led to failure Many in the military and other high positions would not carry out their orders The conspirators put Gorbachev under house arrest announcing that the “Committee” was now in charge Yeltsin acted decisively With thousands of supporters he barricaded himself in the Russian White House As the days wore on it became apparent the “Committee” lacked the resolve and the support to carry out its coup Yeltsin prevailed and became a hero of Russia Gorbachev lost respect as he was shown to be naïve about those around him Even after the coup attempt was over Gorbachev wanted to stick to reform through the now entirely discredited Communist Party He still didn’t get it Yeltsin forced the dissolution of the Party and Gorbachev soon found himself out of a job unwanted and unloved by the democratic forces he refused to embrace and hated by the old guard whose demise he had led While honored in the West one cannot ignore Gorbachev’s duplicity throughout his years as Party General Secretary and Soviet President He did nothing to help the working class while he lived in opulence He talked democracy but approved many of the repressive tactics used to suash it Gorbachev began the process of democratization but it took a man he had denounced Yeltsin to finish it Sadly Yeltsin too would prove ineffective and today Putin Yeltsin’s chosen successor leads Russia ever further from democracy Lenin’s Tomb ends in 1991 a time of hope that unfortunately is yet to be realized


  10. Brendan Monroe Brendan Monroe says:

    Some years ago I traveled to Tallinn with a then colleague While there we paid a visit to the Occupation Museum Aghast at the level of Soviet atrocities against the in this case Estonian population I turned to my American colleague for his thoughts I'd like to hear the Soviet side of it he said unmoved His claim was that museums such as Tallinn's were along with Western histories of the Soviet era and its personalities slanted and reflected an unfairly western anti Soviet bias It was this exchange that I found myself reflecting on while reading Lenin's Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire I wish that former colleague of mine took the time to read it too though he'd likely brush it off with the same dismissive wave he'd used back at the Occupation Museum To call Lenin's Tomb mere Western propaganda though is a claim that any reader of Remnick's masterful work would be hard pressed to make Not to say that Remnick doesn't have his opinions he does and he isn't shy about voicing them But the amount of research into the atrocities committed not only by Lenin but by the entire Soviet system leaves little room for doubt It's hard to even review this book How do you review so thorough a journey into the horrifying past of a once expansive empire? I'm not old enough to remember when the Soviet Union was still around but having lived in Ukraine for nearly 3 years and taken trips to various corners of the former USSR it's clear that the last vestiges of the once vast empire have left much visible decay both material and psychological Even though Remnick wrote this Pulitzer Prize winner than 22 years ago back in 1994 it feels surprisingly relevant To say that this book was the product of years of research is evident to anyone who reads it Remnick now the editor of The New Yorker traveled the length of the USSR from the mines of Donetsk Ukraine to the port city of Magadan the gateway to the Kolyma region in Russia's far east Along the way he meets and interviews all manner of characters From Neo Stalinists to Gorbachev's liberal opposition and all shades between Remnick found them and interviewed them all The scale of the author's research is enough to make my head hurt Talk about racking up the miles But the result is extraordinary So comprehensive so total in its exhumation of past sins it's little wonder that this thing won the Pulitzer Prize Though certain chapters appealed to me in ways that others didn't this is never a boring read The least interesting part of this book to me the events surrounding the August 1991 coup were events I knew absolutely nothing about and were told in a fascinating real time settingPerhaps the greatest myth Remnick busts is one that so called liberals and Russian reformers have been making for decades that Stalin was merely a bad apple and that socialism and Soviet rule as imagined by Lenin are not to blame for the seemingly endless list of crimes committed Remnick shows through interviews and historical accounts that Lenin was responsible for the expansion of the gulag system the initial series of purges and for instilling a system of fear doubt and suspicion that to this day still permeates the mentality of former Soviet residentsThere are curiosities here Remnick praises Boris Yeltsin a bit too highly though this is easy to say in hindsight and speaks of the great Russian writer Solzhenitsyn who before his death in 2008 praised Putin's work as President as some kind of champion of freedom This latter instance is surely though a curiosity on Solzhenitsyn's part though it could be argued though perhaps not well that Putin's authoritarian side wasn't revealed until after Solzhenitsyn's death Nevertheless for a man with Solzhenitsyn's background to praise a man as vicious and power mad as Putin makes for an odd couple easily topping that of any buddy cop filmWhat Remnick's book does so well finally is to leave us with a view of a Russia torn apart in the years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union That this would create the perfect stage for Vladimir Putin is written if not in the lines in between themLenin's Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire is an unforgettable autopsy on an empire that in ways both obvious and not is still very much alive


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