Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shostakovich and Stalin: The Extraordinary Relationship Between the Great Composer and the Brutal Dictator” as Want to Read:
Shostakovich and Stalin: The Extraordinary Relationship Between the Great Composer and the Brutal Dictator
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shostakovich and Stalin: The Extraordinary Relationship Between the Great Composer and the Brutal Dictator

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  5 reviews
“Music illuminates a person and provides him with his last hope; even Stalin, a butcher, knew that.” So said the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, whose first compositions in the 1920s identified him as an avant-garde wunderkind. But that same singularity became a liability a decade later under the totalitarian rule of Stalin, with his unpredictable grounds for the per ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shostakovich and Stalin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shostakovich and Stalin

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 214)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Daniel McLaughlin
This is an amazing historical account of the tyranny that artists in the Soviet Union had to endure under Stalin. It wasn't just a matter of his pure despotism. He was a supreme manipulator and knew now to control someone and use them for his means despite their true desires. If you want to read about the psychology of a despot within the artistic community of a communist country this is the book for you. It's also a great account of Shostakovich's struggle as an artist under such unrelenting ci ...more
the repeated talk of the pushkin/tsar connection was overdone. it reminded me of me when i've written an essay, realize my thesis is actually not that relevant to my essay and to conceal this, insert my thesis everywhere. ...a horribly ineffective strategy btw.

i also think it could have spent more time on the music.
I enjoyed this book about the artist's struggle to maintain honesty and creativity in a totalitarian society. I wouldn't recognize a single work of Dmitri Shostakovitch's, but I found this book an insightful look into how he and other intellectuals tried (and often failed) to survive the horrors of Stalin.
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as to-read
g drive
Liked - will review more later! Much better than Testimony.
GT marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2014
Lucas Teixeira
Lucas Teixeira marked it as to-read
Nov 13, 2014
Joseph McElroy
Joseph McElroy marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
Donald Forster
Donald Forster marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
Paul Frandano
Paul Frandano is currently reading it
Oct 28, 2014
Gudrun Finnbogadottir
Gudrun Finnbogadottir marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2014
David marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2014
Alyssa Campbell
Alyssa Campbell marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Craig marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
Lisa marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2014
Anselm Kersten
Anselm Kersten marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
Hillary is currently reading it
Aug 09, 2014
Neverdust marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2014
Allan marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
Kienan Mccusker
Kienan Mccusker marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Testimony: The Memoirs
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician
  • Beethoven
  • Evening in the Palace of Reason
  • Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome
  • Inventing the Middle Ages
  • The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824
  • Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev
  • Castles Burning: A Child's Life in War
  • Caligula: A Biography
  • Gladstone: A Biography
  • Conversations with Beethoven
  • A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano
  • Johannes Brahms: A Biography
  • Chronicle of the Roman Republic: The Rulers of Ancient Rome from Romulus to Augustus
  • Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages
  • Roman Lives: A Selection of Eight Lives
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres
Solomon Moiseyevich Volkov (born 17 April 1944 in Uroteppa, Tadzhik SSR) is a Russian journalist and musicologist. He is best known for Testimony, which was published in 1979 following his emigration from the Soviet Union in 1976. He claimed that the book was the memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich, as related to himself.
More about Solomon Volkov...
The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn Conversations with Joseph Brodsky: A Poets Journey Through The Twentieth Century St Petersburg: A Cultural History Romanov Riches: Russian Writers and Artists Under the Tsars Balanchine's Tchaikovsky: Conversations with Balanchine on His Life, Ballet, and Music

Share This Book