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Lenin's Tomb
David Remnick
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Lenin's Tomb

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  2,522 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
Remnick es el mejor periodista de su generación, y "La tumba de Lenin" es el libro que le consagró y con el que obtuvo el Premio Pulitzer. Inédito en España y con un nuevo prefacio para conmemorar los veinte años de la caída de la Unión Soviética, es un clásico del periodismo y una de las obras fundamentales sobre ese periodo histórico, clave para entender el mundo de hoy. ...more
Published (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maru Kun
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 plotting.

This 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 restored.

This is planning:

Yeltsin will be arrested at his Dacha in Vnukovo at 04:00 hours on 19 Aug
Sep 19, 2007 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
just incredible - this is, without a doubt, one of the best books I've ever read. I don't have any deep interest in Soviet/Russian 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 acquire a reputation as a drunk in Russia."
Sep 19, 2010 Gini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 U.S. 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 wa ...more
Jul 31, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 more 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 a ...more
Mikey B.
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 place.

The efficacy of this book is the internal focus on the people in the country itself; there is none of this hyperb
May 02, 2013 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 spot.

Remnick approaches his subject with an even hand. There is no Western arrogance about matters. When he discovers fault, he reports it.

I remember when Yeltsin resigned. I was going
Mar 29, 2015 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
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 ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My one small gripe with this otherwise fantastic book: not so much that it’s opinionated, but I thought there were too many times Remnick allowed his personal opinions to bleed over into people and/or situations he was describing in ways that seemed to be trying to validate his beliefs. For example, in the chapter on the 1991 coup attempt, Remnick describes one of the Party leaders on the side of the putschists (whom Remnick pretty clearly doesn’t like) who’s yelled at by the liberal mayor of Le ...more
Aug 07, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really really good book. Asked point blank by goodreads what I learned from this book, I'd have to say I learned about the Gorbachev period, which had sort of a dead zone in my knowledge.... not entirely, of course, since I lived through parts of it, but I certainly have more of a handle on it now than I did before.

There's a lot to like here-- Remnick shows his level of access to ordinary and extraordinary people here, and it's deep. He talks to lots and lots of people, and obviously
Sep 18, 2016 Sher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I hadn't become a musician, I am sure I would have become a historian. I love history and reading a well written history book is just heaven for me. This is a very well written book by a man who knew what he was talking about. Mr. Remnick was a (Jewish!) reporter who lived in the USSR through the Gorbachev years right up through the time of Boris Yeltsin when the USSR became Russia again. He spoke with Gorbachev on several occasions, as well as many other high level people in the Soviet gover ...more
Brendan Monroe
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. ...more
Nick Black
Oct 27, 2014 Nick Black rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-nyc
apparently there was a late soviet Wheel of Fortune clone called Fields of Dreams, which awarded as its grand prize boxes of Tide. also, the Forbes magazine's corporate jet is named The Capitalist Tool.
Nov 29, 2014 tomsyak rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t yet had a chance to read Said’s “Orientalism,” but it seems that neither had Remnick. He makes sweeping statements about “the Russians” which I think he would never have made about “the Americans.” He is trying to complicate his story: neither Gorbachev nor Yeltsin are unambiguous, and yet in the end his narrative turns out to be as black-and-white as can be. An interesting point that he never addresses is his own persona: in interviews with such a rare bird as an American journalist, ...more
Aug 25, 2011 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought Lenin's Tomb was a masterpiece. I decided to read it because we are at the twentieth anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union. And I remember it well! Almost twenty years after it was written, the book is still relevant. Remnick stated that "time will help sort out the Gorbachev era." However, there is no doubt that Lenin's Tomb is an excellent source for understanding the downfall of the Soviet Regime. Now if you ask my right-wing friends the sources of that downfall, they will give ...more
Philip Kuhn
Feb 09, 2012 Philip Kuhn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book out there on the collapse of the Soviet Union. Remnick traveled to Moscow for a story, and the coup by the old army generals happened when he was there, and the kidnapping and holding of President Gorbachev. Gee, I don't know, which story should I cover--the summit talks next month between Pres. Bush and Gorbachev, or the coup?!

Remnick deftly brings together facts about the USSR and other stories into a single narrative. For example, the first chapter is called "A forest childhood." No
Michael Gerald
Aug 10, 2013 Michael Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best works about the last days of the once-arrogant empire of lies, David Remnick succinctly presents the different factors that led to those heady events: the hypocrisy of the Communist Party of Lenin itself, which supposedly set about to create an egalitarian society, but only crafted a new "ruling class" of their own and left a heap of corpses as its track record. However the Party tried hard to portray itself as a great power, the reality in the last days of the empire were the ta ...more
Constantin Manuel
Aug 30, 2016 Constantin Manuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The author seemed to have a serious grudge against Gorbachev, and a strong desire to make Yeltsin look better in comparison. That's my only complaint, and it's not a complaint as far as factuality goes - he makes the case, and I'm not informed enough to disagree - just a complaint regarding tone. It kind of SEEMS bullshit just because the agenda is so blatant and the dude is so determined to trash-talk Gorbachev every step of the way.

Other than that, well-written, insightful, and chock-full of
Rachel Jackson
Jul 11, 2014 Rachel Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Remnick's monumental historical book Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire is certainly one for the ages. It's an utterly fascinating, impressive study and researched account of the last several years of the USSR's existence, along with the fall of Mikhail Gorbachev and the rise of Boris Yeltsin. As somewhat of a Russian history aficionado, I read along enthralled by the adventures of the Soviet government as it scraped its way through its last bit of history. Although the turmo ...more
May 23, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This had been in my stack of unreads since pre-Kindle days, and I am glad I dusted off the hard copy at last and opened it. Reading now, in the light of Putin's recent actions, sheds some light on thinking about what has and hasn't changed in Russia. You can feel some relief that nothing got even worse in the last 20 years, and, still, gratitude that the demise of the U.S.S.R. brought relatively little bloodshed.

You can also stand in awe of astounding reporting, although at this point the events
Ashok Sridharan
Lenin's Tomb is an eyewitness account of the last years of the Soviet Union, starting in the late 1980s and ending with the dramatic collapse of the communist state in 1991. The author David Remnick, then Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post, brilliantly describes what it felt to live through the decline and collapse of the Soviet Union.

On the flip side is the propagandist tone of this book, which was written in the years immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the USA w
Omar Halabieh
Sep 06, 2015 Omar Halabieh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently finished reading the Pulitzer Prize winning book: Lenin's Tomb - The Last Days of the Soviet Empire - by David Remnick.

Below are key excerpts from this masterpiece:

In the years after Stalin's death, the state was an old tyrant slouched in the comer with cataracts and gallstones, his muscles gone slack. He The state was nearly senile, but still dangerous enough. He still kept the key to the border gate in his pocket and ruled every function of public life. Now and then he had fits and
Apr 11, 2014 zltg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I cannot stop thinking about the parallel to the past and future of China when reading. Remnick's personal account is full of detailed texture without the overall structural view. He left an impression to me that the the materials were arranged due to availability, not necessity or logical coherence. The book merely glances over a vast surface of this history, and left me with a feeling of deep unsatisfaction. "The most awful thing about it is that this cannot merely be shed, like taking off an ...more
May 21, 2011 Hadrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Decline and Fall of Soviet Russia. Describes the ignominy and total corruption of the state, and the horrors and drudgery that the Soviet people endured, with penetrating detail. Excellent reading, and highly recommended for anybody interested in the era.
Mar 11, 2016 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference  ·  review of another edition
... ¿estamos preparados para afirmar que Hitler era un enemigo puesto que su historia no fue escuchada? En Lenin's Tomb, David Remnick cuenta sus intentos, durante su visita a Moscú en 1988,de conocer a Lazar Kaganovich, último superviviente del círculo más próximo a Stalin, que dirigió el programa de colectivización de 1929-1933 y fue responsable de muchas destrucciones y de mucho sufrimiento. Siendo un nonagenario, llevaba una vida de reclusión en un apartamento solitario. Lo que fascinaba a R ...more
Apr 29, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly fascinating and absorbing account of the last days of the Soviet empire. He had so many firsthand accounts of meeting with Russian politicians and everyday people which made for very interesting anecdotes.
Adam Clark
Dec 18, 2015 Adam Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very impressive account of the last few years of the Soviet Union – drawing on an enormous amount of reports but properly compiled into a book form, the cracks only show occasionally.

Above all impressive in the human qualities of its accounts of the compromises people made under the system, especially those of the Gorbachev mould who were stuck halfway between the old and new.

Major message taken away was the potential power of civil society - such as the arch Stalinist housewife whose letter
Oct 01, 2014 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've heard it said that "the plural of anecdote is not data", and this is what I kept thinking while reading this book. It's kind of a mess; Remnick's narrative history pieces aren't in order, and the 2 - 3 page anecdotes he keeps dropping in feel totally disconnected from the surrounding material. I could see this book working either as a straight narrative history or as a collection of essays, but the length of the anecdotes didn't really work for me, and between that and Remnick's jumping aro ...more
"Nina Aleksandrovna seemed like a logical conservative in her arguments until she "somehow slid into the subject of Jews." Once here she sounded eerily similar to older members of the American conservative parties that have been heard speaking about blacks or homosexuals."

Journalists have a certain writing style that differs from professional hisotrians and someone familar with it could be given a passage of this book and easily tell it was written by a journalist even if they knew nothing else
Erik Roejskjaer
Jan 14, 2016 Erik Roejskjaer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fascinating for anyone interested in the period
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David Remnick (born October 29, 1958) is an American journalist, writer, and magazine editor. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book Lenin s Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire. Remnick has been editor of The New Yorker magazine since 1998. He was named Editor of the Year by Advertising Age in 2000. Before joining The New Yorker, Remnick was a reporter and the Moscow correspondent for Th ...more
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“In the lobby, an old woman with legs wrapped in elastic bandages mopped the floor with filthy water. She kept missing the same spot, over and over. There was the overpowering smell of disinfectant, bad tobacco, and wet wool. This was the smell of Russia indoors, the smell of the woman in front of you on line, the smell of every elevator. Near an abandoned newsstand, dozens of overcoats hung on long rows of pegs, somber and dark, lightly steaming, like nags in a stable.” 4 likes
“The Communist Party apparatus was the most gigantic mafia the world has ever known.” 4 likes
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