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Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin's Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina
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Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin's Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Drawing from Hoover Institution archival documents, Paul Gregory sheds light on how the world's first socialist state went terribly wrong and why it was likely to veer off course through the tragic story of Stalin's most prominent victims:Pravdaeditor Nikolai Bukharin and his wife, Anna Larina. ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Hoover Institution Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Guinevere Nell
The primary reason for the low rating for a Paul Gregory book -- someone who I admire and enjoy, respect and generally trust -- is the short length, the relatively light (if not superficial) level of the biographical story. Some will appreciate this I'm sure, but for me it left me craving more, and not really in a good way. He could have delved deeper - I am certain, because the information is out there - Anna wrote a massive autobiography herself.

Perhaps it was my fault - I should have checked
In an accessible, concise manner, Dr. Gregory details the relationship between Bukharin and Stalin, and its deterioration from the late 1920s until Bukharin’s eventual execution in 1938. What makes this book so accessible is the fact that the story is incredibly personal, with Dr. Gregory using actual correspondence, which allows the cast of characters to tell their own story. To make the story even more personal, the book details the effects that these trials had on Bukharin’s young wife, Anna ...more
This book put a face on the Great Terror. Stalin is quoted as saying, "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." Gregory's store of the relationship between Stalin and Bukharin besides being well researched and effectively told, makes the tragedy of the death of millions very understandable.
The purpose of this book was very unclear to me. In the introductory notes, the author states that he is writing for a general audience rather than an academic one, but the narrative does not bear this out. The text jumps around in time a lot; events that happen in 1934 are referenced before events that happen in 1929, then the author goes back to a semi-chronological narrative. The text is wonderfully cross-referenced and the evidence is solid, but if the author was intending to show "the horro ...more
This book is exceptionally dry--historical (rather than analysis of current issues, which is the type I tend to read) non-fiction, and not at all literary. I learned a lot about Stalin and his rise to power, but I didn't find Bukharin or Larina as compelling as I think was intended, plus I found their relationship somewhat skeevy.
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