Judith's Reviews > A Mountain of Crumbs

A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
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's review
Jun 28, 2010

it was amazing

This is a rich and vivid memoir of life in Russia in the 50's & 60's as seen through the eyes of a young girl growing up at that time in Leningrad. The book brings her to life so that I felt she was someone I knew or should have known----like my divided self on the other side of the world. As a child growing up, I remember living in fear of the Russians---when would they drop the bomb on us? when would they secretly infiltrate our schools and brainwash us into believing in the Communist way of life? Ironic to realize that the little Russian children of the 50's went to bed wondering if we were going to drop the bomb on them while they slept.

Once again, I was counting my blessings for the richness of our country. The author's descriptions of the stores with nothing on the shelves; the apartments jammed full of people; the mind-numbing rote memorization of historical data without analyzation of its meaning; the terror of the authorities; and the bureaucratic nightmares which accompanied any request for governmental action (sort of like dealing with the cable company), were all so fascinating. At the time, we heard so much propaganda about life behind the "iron curtain". Turns out, it was pretty much true.
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