A tragic love triangle set in a forgotten place during an invisible war.
Inspired by true events, “Underground” tells the story of a troubled romance between Lukas and Elena, two members of the underground Lithuanian resistance movement in mid-1940s.
After shooting up a room full of Soviet government workers during their engagement party, Lukas and Elena become folk heroes to their political cause, but are forced deep into hiding in order to escape punishment for their role in the massacre.
When their secret bunker is discovered, Lukas is nearly captured. Believing his beloved Elena has been killed in the raid, Lukas is forced to flee the country and the increasingly hopeless resistance movement that he has defended over the years.
Finding himself stranded in Paris, Lukas tries in vain to generate some political interest in the plight of his country. Settling quietly in Europe, Lukas falls in love again, remarries, and begins his life anew. When an unexpected crisis arises back home, the tranquility of Lukas’ new life is shattered. Stealing back into his former country, Lukas embarks on the most important fight of his life.
Based on true historical revelations and fragments of the author’s family history, “Underground” is an engaging literary thriller and love story that explores the narrow range of options open to men and women in desperate situations, when history crashes into personal desires and private life.
For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. Spare, unpredictable, minutely observed, and utterly free of self-pity (, Cleveland), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity as well as their cravenness. And with bald honesty and brutal lyricism (), she tells of the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject. is, to quote A. S. Byatt, essential, and a classic of war literature.
Seven million people in the “breadbasket of Europe” were deliberately starved to death at Stalin’s command. This story has been suppressed for half a century. Now, a survivor speaks.
In 1929, in an effort to destroy the well-to-do peasant farmers, Joseph Stalin ordered the collectivization of all Ukrainian farms. In the ensuing years, a brutal Soviet campaign of confiscations, terrorizing, and murder spread throughout Ukrainian villages. What food remained after the seizures was insufficient to support the population. In the resulting famine as many as seven million Ukrainians starved to death.
This poignant eyewitness account of the Ukrainian famine by one of the survivors relates the young Miron Dolot’s day-to-day confrontation with despair and death—his helplessness as friends and family were arrested and abused—and his gradual realization, as he matured, of the absolute control the Soviets had over his life and the lives of his people. But it is also the story of personal dignity in the face of horror and humiliation. And it is an indictment of a chapter in the Soviet past that is still not acknowledged by Russian leaders.
Volume 1 of the gripping epic masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn’s chilling report of his arrest and interrogation, which exposed to the world the vast bureaucracy of secret police that haunted Soviet society
“Best Nonfiction Book of the Twentieth Century” (Time magazine )
Russia is dying from within. Oligarchs and oil barons may still dominate international news coverage, but their prosperity masks a deep-rooted demographic tragedy. Faced with staggering population decline—and near-certain economic collapse—driven by toxic levels of alcohol abuse, Russia is also battling a deeper sickness: a spiritual one, born out of the country’s long totalitarian experiment.
In , award-winning journalist Oliver Bullough uses the tale of a lone priest to give life to this national crisis. Father Dmitry Dudko, a dissident Orthodox Christian, was thrown into a Stalinist labor camp for writing poetry. Undaunted, on his release in the mid-1950s he began to preach to congregations across Russia with little concern for his own safety. At a time when the Soviet government denied its subjects the prospect of advancement, and turned friend against friend and brother against brother, Dudko urged his followers to cling to hope. He maintained a circle of sacred trust at the heart of one of history’s most deceitful systems. But as Bullough reveals, this courageous group of believers was eventually shattered by a terrible act of betrayal—one that exposes the full extent of the Communist tragedy. Still, Dudko’s dream endures. Although most Russians have forgotten the man himself, the embers of hope that survived the darkness are once more beginning to burn.
Leading readers from a churchyard in Moscow to the snow-blanketed ghost towns of rural Russia, and from the forgotten graves of Stalin’s victims to a rock festival in an old gulag camp, is at once a travelogue, a sociological study, a biography, and a for a dying nation—one that, Bullough shows, might yet be saved.
During the Soviet years, Russian science was touted as one of the greatest successes of the regime. Russian science was considered to be equal, if not superior, to that of the wealthy western nations. , a history of Soviet science that focuses on its control by the KGB and the Communist Party, reveals the dark side of this glittering achievement.
Based on the author’s firsthand experience as a Soviet scientist, and drawing on extensive Russian language sources not easily available to the Western reader, the book includes shocking new information on biomedical experimentation on humans as well as an examination of the pernicious effects of Trofim Lysenko’s pseudo-biology. Also included are many poignant case histories of those who collaborated and those who managed to resist, focusing on the moral choices and consequences. The text is accompanied by the author’s own translations of key archival materials, making this work an essential resource for all those with a serious interest in Russian history.
The ascension of Vladimir Putin—a former lieutenant colonel of the KGB—to the presidency of Russia in 1999 should have been a signal that the country was headed away from democracy. Yet in the intervening years—as America and the world’s other leading powers have continued to appease him—Putin has grown not only into a dictator but a global threat. With his vast resources and nuclear weapons, Putin is at the center of a worldwide assault on political liberty.
For Garry Kasparov, none of this is news. He has been a vocal critic of Putin for over a decade, even leading the pro-democracy opposition to him in the farcical 2008 Presidential election. Yet years of seeing his Cassandra-like prophecies about Putin’s intentions fulfilled have left Kasparov with the realization of a darker truth: Putin’s Russia, like ISIS or Al Qaeda, defines itself in opposition to the free countries of the world. He is still fighting the Cold War, even as Americans have first moved beyond it, and over time, forgotten its lessons.
Lest we be drawn into another prolonged conflict, Kasparov now urges a forceful stand—diplomatic and economic—against him. For as long as the world’s powerful democracies continue to recognize and negotiate with Putin, he can maintain credibility in his home country. He faces few strong enemies within his country, so meaningful opposition must come from abroad.
Argued with the force of Kasparov’s world-class intelligence, conviction, and hopes for his home country, is an unmistakable call to action against a threat we’ve ignored for too long.
In 1947, Ayn Rand wrote a pamphlet for the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, entitled “Screen Guide for Americans,” based on her personal impressions of the American film industry. Rand cited examples of popular and critically acclaimed films which in her view contained hidden Communist or “Collectivist” messages that had not been recognized as such, even by conservatives. Examples included “The Best Years of Our Lives” (because it portrayed businessmen negatively, and suggested that bankers should give veterans collateral-free loans) and “A Song to Remember” (because it implied that Chopin sacrificed himself for a patriotic cause rather than devoting himself to his music).
History remembers the Soviets and the Nazis as bitter enemies and ideological rivals, the two mammoth and opposing totalitarian regimes of World War II whose conflict would be the defining and deciding clash of the war. Yet for nearly a third of the conflict’s entire timespan, Hitler and Stalin stood side by side as allies. In , acclaimed historian Roger Moorhouse explores the causes and implications of the tenuous Nazi-Soviet pact, an unholy covenant whose creation and dissolution were crucial turning points in World War II. Indeed, this riveting chapter of World War II is the key to understanding why the conflict evolved—and ended—the way it did.
Nazism and Bolshevism made unlikely bedfellows, but the brutally efficient joint Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 illustrated the powerful incentives that existed for both sides to set aside their differences. Forged by vain and pompous German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and his Russian counterpart, the inscrutable and stubborn Vyacheslav Molotov, the Nazi-Soviet pact in August of 1939 briefly unified the two powers. Together, the Germans and Soviets quickly conquered and divvied up central and eastern Europe—Poland, the Baltic States, Finland, and Bessarabia—aiding one another through exchanges of information, blueprints, and prisoners. The human cost was staggering: in Poland alone, the Soviets deported 1.5 million people in 1940, 400,000 of whom would never return. Tens of thousands were also deported from the Baltic States, including almost all of the members of the Estonian parliament. Of the 100,000 civilians deported to Siberia from Bessarabia, barely a third survived.
Nazi and Soviet leaders hoped that a similar quid-pro-quo agreement would also characterize their economic relationship. The Soviet Union would export much-needed raw materials to Germany, while the Germans would provide weapons and technological innovations to their communist counterparts. In reality, however, economic negotiations were fraught from the start, not least because the Soviets, mindful that the Germans were in dire need of raw materials to offset a British blockade, made impossible demands of their ally. Although German-Soviet trade still grew impressively through 1940, it was not enough to convince Hitler that he could rely on the partnership with Moscow, which on the whole was increasingly turbulent and unpredictable.
Fortunately for the Allies, the pact—which seemed to negate any chances of an Allied victory in Europe—was short-lived. Delving into the motivations and forces at work, Moorhouse explores how the partnership soured, ultimately resulting in the surprise June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union. With the final dissolution of the pact, the Soviets sided with the Western democracies, a development that changed the course of the war—and which, upon Germany’s defeat, allowed the Soviets to solidify the inroads they had made into Eastern Europe during their ill-starred alliance. Reviled by contemporaries, the Nazi-Soviet Pact would have a similarly baleful afterlife. Though it was torn up by the Nazis and denied or excused as a strategic necessity by the Soviets, its effects and political ramifications proved remarkably persistent. The boundaries of modern eastern and central Europe adhere closely to the hasty divisions made by Ribbentrop and Molotov. Even more importantly, the pact laid the groundwork for Soviet control of Eastern Europe, a power grab that would define the post-war order.
Drawing on memoirs, diaries, and official records from newly opened Soviet archives, is the authoritative work on one of the seminal episodes of World War II. In his characteristically rich and detailed prose, Moorhouse paints a vivid picture of the pact’s origins and its enduring influence as a crucial turning point, in both the war and in modern history.
Ukraine, 1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.
Fighting across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on destruction, rape and revenge. The Communists are determined to wipe Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for Germany’s brutal invasion and occupation.
Maurice has determined his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret police.
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