Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets
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|Author||: Svetlana Alexievich|
|Editor||: Juggernaut Books|
Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich invents a new genre of narrative non-fiction as she writes the life stories of housewives, artists, party workers, students, soldiers, traders, living through a time of political upheaval -- the fall of the Soviet Union and the two decades that followed it.
|Author||: Svetlana Alexievich|
|Editor||: Random House|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A symphonic oral history about the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia, from Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY • LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Wall Street Journal • NPR • Financial Times • Kirkus Reviews When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions—a history of the soul.” Alexievich’s distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation. In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what it’s like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacres—but also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world. A magnificent tapestry of the sorrows and triumphs of the human spirit woven by a master, Secondhand Time tells the stories that together make up the true history of a nation. “Through the voices of those who confided in her,” The Nation writes, “Alexievich tells us about human nature, about our dreams, our choices, about good and evil—in a word, about ourselves.” Praise for Svetlana Alexievich and Secondhand Time “The nonfiction volume that has done the most to deepen the emotional understanding of Russia during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union of late is Svetlana Alexievich’s oral history Secondhand Time.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker
|Author||: Svetlana Alexievich|
|Editor||: Random House|
From the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Svetlana Alexievich, comes the first English translation of her latest work, an oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia. Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive documentary style, Secondhand Time is a monument to the collapse of the USSR, charting the decline of Soviet culture and speculating on what will rise from the ashes of Communism. As in all her books, Alexievich gives voice to women and men whose stories are lost in the official narratives of nation-states, creating a powerful alternative history from the personal and private stories of individuals.
|Author||: Svetlana Alexievich|
|Editor||: Random House Trade Paperbacks|
"A masterpiece" (The Guardian) from the Nobel Prize-winning writer, an oral history of children's experiences in World War II across Russia NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing "a new kind of literary genre," describing her work as "a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul." Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, Last Witnesses is Alexievich's collection of the memories of those who were children during World War II. They had sometimes been soldiers as well as witnesses, and their generation grew up with the trauma of the war deeply embedded--a trauma that would change the course of the Russian nation. Collectively, this symphony of children's stories, filled with the everyday details of life in combat, reveals an altogether unprecedented view of the war. Alexievich gives voice to those whose memories have been lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history from the personal and private experiences of individuals. Translated by the renowned Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Last Witnesses is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war. Praise for Last Witnesses "There is a special sort of clear-eyed humility to [Alexievich's] reporting."--The Guardian "A bracing reminder of the enduring power of the written word to testify to pain like no other medium. . . . Children survive, they grow up, and they do not forget. They are the first and last witnesses."--The New Republic "A profound triumph."--The Big Issue "[Alexievich] excavates and briefly gives prominence to demolished lives and eradicated communities. . . . It is impossible not to turn the page, impossible not to wonder whom we next might meet, impossible not to think differently about children caught in conflict."--The Washington Post
|Author||: Andrew Smith|
|Editor||: A&C Black|
In 1999, Andrew Smith was interviewing Charlie Duke, astronaut and moon walker, for the Sunday Times. During the course of the interview, which took place at Duke's Texan home, the telephone rang and Charlie left the room to answer it. When he returned, some twenty minutes later, he seemed visibly upset. It seemed that he'd just heard that, the previous day, one of his fellow moon walkers, the astronaut Pete Conrad, had died. The more Charlie spoke the more Andrew realised that his grief was something more than the mere fact of losing a friend. 'Now theres only nine of us,' he said. Only nine. Which meant that, one day not long from now, there would be none, and when that day came, no one on earth would have known the giddy thrill of gazing back at us from the surface of the moon. The thought shocked Andrew, and still does. Moondust is his attempt to understand why. The Apollo moon programme has been called the last optimistic act of the 20th Century. Over a strange three year period between 1969 and 1972, twelve men made the longest and most eccentric of all journeys, and all were indelibly marked by it. In Moondust Andrew sets out to interview all the remaining astronauts who walked on the moon, and to find out how their lives were changed for ever by what had happened. 'Where do you go after you've been to the moon?' In addition to this question that would prove hugely troubling to many of the returned astronauts, they also had to deal with the fantasies of faceless millions at their backs, for this was the first truly global media event. The walkers would forever be caught between the gravitational pull of the moon and the earth's collective dreaming.
|Author||: Anna Artwińska,Agnieszka Mrozik|
Communism in twentieth-century Europe is predominantly narrated as a totalitarian movement and/or regime. This book aims to go beyond this narrative and provide an alternative framework to describe the communist past. This reframing is possible thanks to the concepts of generation and gender, which are used in the book as analytical categories in an intersectional overlap. The publication covers twentieth-century Poland, Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, the Soviet Union/Russia, former Yugoslavia, Turkish communities in West Germany, Italy, and Cuba (as a comparative point of reference). It provides a theoretical frame and overview chapters on several important gender and generation narratives about communism, anticommunism, and postcommunism. Its starting point is the belief that although methodological reflection on communism, as well as on generations and gender, is conducted extensively in contemporary research, the overlapping of these three terms is still rare. The main focus in the first part is on methodological issues. The second part features studies which depict the possibility of generational-gender interpretations of history. The third part is informed by biographical perspectives. The last part shows how the problem of generations and gender is staged via the medium of literature and how it can be narrated.
|Author||: Светлана Алексиевич|
|Editor||: White Lion Publishing|
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award A journalist by trade, who now suffers from an immune deficiency developed while researching this book, presents personal accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus after the nuclear reactor accident in 1986, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they still live with. The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."
|Author||: Svetlana Alexievich|
|Editor||: Random House|
A long-awaited English translation of the groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia—from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • The Guardian • NPR • The Economist • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Kirkus Reviews For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.” In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women—more than a million in total—were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten. Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women’s stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war—the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories. Translated by the renowned Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Unwomanly Face of War is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war. THE WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” “A landmark.”—Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century “An astonishing book, harrowing and life-affirming . . . It deserves the widest possible readership.”—Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train “Alexievich has gained probably the world’s deepest, most eloquent understanding of the post-Soviet condition. . . . [She] has consistently chronicled that which has been intentionally forgotten.”—Masha Gessen, National Book Award–winning author of The Future Is History
|Author||: Bright Summaries|
Unlock the more straightforward side of Secondhand Time with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! This engaging summary presents an analysis of Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich, a collection of personal testimonies from people who lived through the demise of the Soviet Union and the subsequent establishment of the Russian Federation. The accounts gathered in the book span two decades, from 1991 to 2012, and explore subjects such as the rise of the oligarchs, the repressive Stalinist years (which are nonetheless viewed with a sense of nostalgia by some) and the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, bringing together participants with widely varying opinions from all strata of society. Alexievich herself grew up in the Soviet Union, and her writing was shaped by her upbringing and the society she lived in. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015, making her the first writer from Belarus to receive the honour. Find out everything you need to know about Secondhand Time in a fraction of the time! This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you: • A complete plot summary • Character studies • Key themes and symbols • Questions for further reflection Why choose BrightSummaries.com? Available in print and digital format, our publications are designed to accompany you on your reading journey. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time. See the very best of literature in a whole new light with BrightSummaries.com!
|Author||: Orlando Figes|
|Editor||: Metropolitan Books|
From the author of A People's Tragedy, an original reading of the Russian Revolution, examining it not as a single event but as a hundred-year cycle of violence in pursuit of utopian dreams In this elegant and incisive account, Orlando Figes offers an illuminating new perspective on the Russian Revolution. While other historians have focused their examinations on the cataclysmic years immediately before and after 1917, Figes shows how the revolution, while it changed in form and character, nevertheless retained the same idealistic goals throughout, from its origins in the famine crisis of 1891 until its end with the collapse of the communist Soviet regime in 1991. Figes traces three generational phases: Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who set the pattern of destruction and renewal until their demise in the terror of the 1930s; the Stalinist generation, promoted from the lower classes, who created the lasting structures of the Soviet regime and consolidated its legitimacy through victory in war; and the generation of 1956, shaped by the revelations of Stalin's crimes and committed to "making the Revolution work" to remedy economic decline and mass disaffection. Until the very end of the Soviet system, its leaders believed they were carrying out the revolution Lenin had begun. With the authority and distinctive style that have marked his magisterial histories, Figes delivers an accessible and paradigm-shifting reconsideration of one of the defining events of the twentieth century.
|Author||: Maxim Osipov|
|Editor||: New York Review of Books|
The first English-language collection of a contemporary Russian master of the short story. Maxim Osipov, who lives and practices medicine in a town ninety miles outside Moscow, is one of Russia’s best contemporary writers. In the tradition of Anton Chekhov and William Carlos Williams, he draws on his experiences in medicine to write stories of great subtlety and striking insight. Osipov’s fiction presents a nuanced, collage-like portrait of life in provincial Russia—its tragedies, frustrations, and moments of humble beauty and inspiration. The twelve stories in this volume depict doctors, actors, screenwriters, teachers, entrepreneurs, local political bosses, and common criminals whose paths intersect in unpredictable yet entirely natural ways: in sickrooms, classrooms, administrative offices and on trains and in planes. Their encounters lead to disasters, major and minor epiphanies, and—on occasion—the promise of redemption.
|Author||: Sebastian Haffner|
|Editor||: Plunkett Lake Press|
Sebastian Haffner regarded himself as “a Prussian with a British passport.” In this overview of Prussia’s 170-year history as an independent state, he depicts Prussia’s evolution from a sensational 18th century success story – “a state based on law, one of the first in Europe” – to its absorption into the Third Reich where “the rule of law was the first thing that Hitler abolished.” In this succinct and readable book, Haffner argues that Hitler’s racial and nationality policy was the opposite of Prussia’s and Hitler’s political style, the very opposite of Prussian. “In his short book The Rise and Fall of Prussia Haffner combines a critical examination with a declaration of love for a state which always lived beyond its means ... but which managed to combine material poverty with intellectual grandeur.” — Michael Stürmer,Welt am Sonntag “Haffner sees Prussia’s history as the 'tragedy of a purely rational state'. An agglomeration of arbitrary territories, it made a virtue of its artificiality, adapting to the enlightenment and then to romanticism, but finally also to nationalism, betraying the basis of its statehood and leading to its ultimate destruction.” — Chrisian Roth,Akademische Blätter “Haffner long regarded himself as a 'Prussian with a British passport'. He identified with Prussia and its achievements: general compulsory schooling (1717), the abolition of torture (1740), the establishment of religious toleration (1740), Bismarck’s welfare state (1883), the medical giants Virchow, Koch, von Behring, the intellectual giants Kant, von Humboldt and von Schlegel, and much more. At the end of his book he recounted the (often-ignored) expulsion of millions of Prussians from their homeland in 1945. 'It was an atrocity, the final atrocity of a war which had more than its share in atrocities, admittedly begun by Germany under Hitler.' His message is very relevant today, when he praises those expelled for rejecting revenge and having the courage to say, 'This is enough.'” — David Childs, The Independent
|Author||: Lyudmila Mykhailvna Pavlichenko|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
"Arguably the finest account of sniping during World War II." – Adrian Gilbert, author of Challenge of Battle. "Undoubtedly literature’s most remarkable account of sniper action." – Charles W. Sasser, former US Army Special Forces soldier and author of One Shot–One Kill Lyudmila Pavlichenko was one of the most successful – and feared – female snipers of all time. When Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 she left her university studies to join the Red Army. Ignoring offers of positions as a nurse she became part of Soviet Russia’s elite group of female snipers. Within a year she had 309 confirmed kills, including 29 enemy sniper kills. Renowned as the scourge of German soldiers, she was regarded as a key heroic figure for the war effort and, in 1942, on Stalin’s personal orders, she travelled as part of a Soviet delegation to the West, fundraising in Canada, Great Britain and the USA. Dubbed ‘Lady Death’, she spoke out about gender equality in the Red Army and made the case for the USA to continue the fight against the Nazis in Europe. The folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote a song about her exploits – ‘Miss Pavlichenko’ – and she visited the White House, where she formed an unlikely but long-lasting friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt. In November 1942 she visited Coventry and accepted donations of £4,516 from Coventry workers to pay for three X-ray units for the Red Army. She also visited a Birmingham factory as part of her fundraising tour.
|Author||: Tony Judt|
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award One of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.
|Author||: Katherine Bliss Eaton|
|Editor||: Greenwood Publishing Group|
Examines what daily life was like for ordinary people in the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991, discussing government and law, the military, economy, class structure, housing, education, health care, the arts, religion, and other topics.
|Author||: Robin Wagner-Pacifici|
|Editor||: University of Chicago Press|
In the early 1980s the radical group MOVE settled into a rowhouse in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of west Philadelphia, beginning years of confrontations with neighbors and police over its anti-establishment ways and militant stance against all social and political institutions. On May 13, 1985, following a period of increased MOVE activity and threats by neighbors to take matters into their own hands, the city moved from bureaucratic involvement to violent intervention. Police bullhorned arrest warrants, hosed down the rowhouse, sprayed tear gas through its walls, and dropped explosives from a helicopter. By the end of the day, eleven MOVE members were dead, an entire block of the neighborhood was destroyed, and Mayor Wilson Goode was calling for an investigation. How did this struggle between the city and MOVE go from memos and meetings to tear gas and bombs? And how does the mandate to defend public order become a destructive force? Sifting through the hearings that followed the deadly encounter, Robin Wagner-Pacifici reconstructs the conflict between MOVE and the city of Philadelphia. Against this richly nuanced account, in which the participants—from the mayor and the police officers to members of MOVE and their neighbors—offer opposing versions of their aims, assumptions, and strategies, Wagner-Pacifici develops a compelling analysis of the relation between definition and action, between language and violence. Was MOVE simply a radical, black separatist group with an alternative way of life? Or was it a terrorist cult that held a neighborhood and politicians hostage to its offensive language and bizarre behavior? Wagner-Pacifici shows how competing definitions of MOVE led to different strategies for managing the conflict. In light of the shockingly similar, and even more deadly, 1993 Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, Texas, such an analysis becomes imperative. Indeed, for those who hope to understand—and, finally, to forestall—the moment when language and violence are inexorably drawn together, this book demands attention.
|Author||: Lebedev Sergei|
|Editor||: New Vessel Press|
A man obsessively investigates the mysteries of his family’s past in this “brave and unflinching” novel by the acclaimed Russian author of Oblivion (The Financial Times). Sergei Lebedev’s first two novels, The Year of the Comet and Oblivion, established him as one of Russia’s most important contemporary novelists. Now he reaffirms that status with this third work of fiction. The Goose Fritz tells the story of a young Russian named Kirill, the sole survivor of a once numerous clan of German origin, who delves relentlessly into the unresolved past. When Krill’s ancestor, Balthasar Schwerdt, migrated to the Russian Empire in the early 1800s, he brought with him the practice of alternative medicine. He was then taken captive by an erratic nobleman who supplied entertainment to Catherine the Great in the form of dwarves, hunchbacks, and magicians. S earches archives and cemeteries across Europe, Kirill’s investigation takes us through centuries of turmoil during which none of Schwert’s descendants can escape their adoptive country’s cruel fate. Illuminating both personal and political history, “Lebedev muses in Tolstoyan fashion about [how] the actions of distant ancestors can fix the destinies of people hundreds of years later" (The Wall Street Journal).