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Dancing Under the Red Star: The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin's Gulag
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Dancing Under the Red Star: The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin's Gulag

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  451 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
The shocking and inspirational saga of Margaret Werner and her miraculous survival in the Siberian death camps of Stalinist Russia. Between 1930 and 1932, Henry Ford sent 450 of his Detroit employ
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 20th 2006 by WaterBrook Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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Oct 19, 2008 Katie_marie rated it really liked it
An incredible story of surviving Russia under Stalin. Margaret Werner had the attitude that allowed her to stay alive in the most terrible conditions that she had done nothing to deserve. Living as a prisoner forced to do hard labour she became innovative, gained a faith in God and the ability to dance. This memoir shows it is never too late.
Dec 28, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
I loved Tobien's account of the truly amazing life of his mother, Margaret Werner. The turn of every page was a constant reminder of how grateful I am to live in a free country. I admire her strength and resolve - how many of us could endure one intensely painful dissapointment, tragedy, etc. after another and not only have the persistence to go on living but also to be able to maintain a firm belief in a loving God?

We could spend a lifetime analyzing the better political system as it seems mor
Jun 23, 2008 K. rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, russian, ww2
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 25, 2013 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book! Stalin's reign of terror is probably one of the most overlooked parts of modern history. Twenty-seven million people were killed during the time of forced labor camps in Russia. The story is heartbreaking but also so full of hope and faith. I dare anyone to complain about their life after reading this story. Should be required reading for everyone!
God works in Mysterious ways!
Here is a story about a forgotten American who lived through the Gulags of the Soviet Prison system under Uncle Joe Stalin and how God moved on her behalf.

Thought of the movie and book, "China Cry" 1990 movie.

We don't realize how good we have it here in America and what horrors the rest of the World have went through.
Nov 10, 2008 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Great story of heroism.
Mar 15, 2012 Jelinas rated it liked it
Side Note: If you can help it, try not to read too many books about death camps too close together. It can get very depressing and then, even worse, you could become numb to the suffering.

My friend let me borrow this book at the same time that she lent me Unbroken, and I was cautiously optimistic about it. But it was a mistake to read the two so close together because I couldn't help but to compare the writing, and Dancing Under the Red Stare, sadly, could not compare.

Karl Tobien, the author, is
Jun 07, 2012 Ellen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the memoir of a woman who, as a young girl, moves with her father and mother from Detroit to Gorky, Russia. It is 1932 and the father decides that the family should escape the Depression and move with other Ford Motor Company employees to work in the Gorky factory. Under the reign of terror instituted by Joseph Stalin and his minions, the family suffers for years under deprivation, false arrest and imprisonment, and other atrocities.

The only good thing I can say about this book is that
Feb 18, 2013 Jehnie rated it it was ok
I'm very torn on how to rate this book. On the one hand, it is a story that deserves to be told. And it covers material that is little discussed by historians. On the other hand, this is NOT an academic history. At all.

The story revolves around Margaret Werner who went to Gorky with her father in 1932 so he could work for the Ford created factory there. Because of The Terror her father was arrested and died in the Gulag system. Later, Margaret was arrested and served her ten years in Siberian wo
Jul 30, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: recentlyread
Wow...what an interesting story and one that is true! After reading this, one can truly appreciate all the things we take for granted. The writing is just *fair* but the subject matter is definitely worth the read. I had no idea Henry Ford sent over Americans to help Stalin develop automobile factories, what is worse the Ford company did not follow up or help them!???! Note: author expresses his religious bias.
Argyle Doll
Oct 29, 2016 Argyle Doll rated it it was amazing
This is a sad, but magnificent tale about a woman's faith and the struggle to maintain it in harsh conditions. I can't imagine the hardships this woman faced, but despite all the ugliness she kept her head up, trusting in god which ultimately got her through Stalin's gulag. Very inspiring, I highly recommend it!
Jan 19, 2008 Lori rated it really liked it
This was such an amazing TRUE story of survival. It's also a story that most have never heard of. Who knew that Ford had Americans in Russia and never helped save them? Sheer will and through God's faith Margaret Tobien survived. Read the story and learn more...
May 06, 2008 Monica rated it really liked it
Amazing story of an American woman who moved with her family to the Soviet Union in 1932, grew up there, was arrested in 1945, and spent 10 years in hard labor camps in Siberia. Contains many details about the gulag as well as Margaret's own story of survival and faith.
Caity Murray
Jul 27, 2007 Caity Murray rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History Buffs and fans of biographies
This book was an interesting biography of a woman who lived through being a prisoner of a Russian Gulag during Stalin's reign. I found it so amazing how she could stay strong and not give up hope of one day being free.
Jan 17, 2008 Shauna rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Another of my book club books. Very good read--true story of a American girl growing up in Stalinist Russia, and her incarceration and eventual release from the Siberian Gulag. Harsh and brutal, yet full of hope and faith as Margaret develops a belief and relationship with God.
Neven strmski
very inspirational and interestinig history of Stalinist Russia
Nov 05, 2007 Christy rated it really liked it
I had no idea these atrocities happened to American citizens without America intervening.
Jul 21, 2007 Joanna rated it it was amazing
who would have thought this lady was a Christian.
Jul 10, 2015 Veronica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious
This was an excellent book. Very moving, with simple and eloquent language. Really makes you appreciate all you've got.
Jan 06, 2008 Natascha rated it really liked it
I didn't even know this happened! So much for history class. Great book, very informative.
Jun 14, 2007 Emmey rated it it was ok
Not well written, but interesting perspective on the Russian gulag.
Jun 29, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Valerie by: Book Club
Thought detemination and finding her own faith, Margaret Werner'life story is inspiering.
Faith Tyler
Oct 08, 2012 Faith Tyler rated it it was amazing
Faith Tyler
honors English

Dancing under the Red Star was a beautiful, touching, and heartwarming story about an American Citizen who gets caught in the mitts of the Russian Revolution. She slowly tries to make her way back to America. She lived through Stalin’s rule in Russia as an American and at one point a political prisoner. The book was written by her son, Karl Tobien. He wanted her story to be told and to be passed on. Karl wanted her story to be told. He wanted people to see the journe
Feb 10, 2017 Paul rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story! A real page turner ... for me. I give it 6 stars for the story and 4 for the writing. This was authored by Margaret Werner's son, who is a decent writer but no prize winner. But what the writing lacks in style is easily compensated for by unique glimpses into life in Stalinist Russia during the Great Terror, where millions of people were sent to the Siberian Gulags on political charges. Margaret, a young woman who came to Gorky as part of a Henry Ford's agreement with Stal ...more
May 21, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
A surprise read, this book has been sitting neglected on my shelf for a couple of years. How glad I am that I finally picked it up to discover a gripping story of an American survivor of Stalin’s Gulag. Margaret Tobien’s story is told in the first person in this account authored by her son Karl. Frankly, I don’t know where to start extracting from among the nuggets of this story, so I will string out some of the experiences that will continue to both haunt and inspire me.

Ford Motor Company shipp
Dawn Froese
May 20, 2017 Dawn Froese rated it it was amazing
Insight into something I really knew nothing about.
Feb 17, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2009 Catherine rated it liked it
Margaret Werner's father, Carl, was offered an opportunity to join approx. 450 fellow Ford Auto employees in operating a new manufacturing plant in Gorky, Russia. Despite desperate pleas on Margaret and her mother Elisabeth's parts to stay in America, Carl decided to move the family from Detroit to Gorky.

The family lived under harsh conditions from the get-go. But the real hell begins for the family when Carl is arrested on false charges, and then a few years later Margaret is also arrested and
Sep 28, 2012 Louisa rated it did not like it
I despise being proselytized at the best of times. What I was not expecting was an account of a GULAG survivor's life to be a vehicle for conversion to Evangelical Christianity.

The substandard writing style aside, I found myself infuriated when every supposed "miracle" of this woman's survival is attributed to God rather than human decency, a sense of camaraderie brought about through adversity and just sheer, dumb luck.

Truly, this book was a wasted opportunity to convey what could have been a
Feb 02, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all youth and adults
Recommended to Melissa by: Kasey
Courage, inner strength, and resourcefulness were the main themes of this amazing true story of an American girl caught in the political nightmare of Stalin's Russia. I thought this book was well written especially since it read as first person but was truly written from the subject's son. Writing not only someone else's tale but also that other person be your mom and another gender seems quite a feat. I enjoyed it immensely. Some of my favorite quotes from this book are:

"Talk of God, faith, or
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