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The Whisperers: Private Life in…
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The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia (original 2007; udgave 2008)

af Orlando Figes

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9611820,583 (4.26)92
A landmark account of what private life was like for Russians in the worst years of Soviet repression. We know of the public aspects of Stalin's dictatorship: the arrests and trials, the enslavement and killing in the gulags. No previous book, however, has explored the regime's effect on people's personal lives. Now, drawing on a huge collection of newly discovered documents, this book reveals the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens amidst the mistrust, fear, compromises, and betrayals that pervaded their existence. Cultural historian Figes re-creates the moral maze in which Russians found themselves, where one wrong turn could destroy a family. He brings us inside cramped communal apartments, where minor squabbles could lead to fatal denunciations; he examines the Communist faithful, who often rationalized even their own arrests; and he casts a humanizing light on informers, demonstrating how, in a repressive system, anyone could easily become a collaborator.--From publisher description.… (mere)
Medlem:mpburkhalter
Titel:The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Forfattere:Orlando Figes
Info:Picador (2008), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 784 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Hviskerne : privatliv i Stalins Rusland af Orlando Figes (2007)

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» Se også 92 omtaler

Engelsk (15)  Hollandsk (2)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (18)
Viser 1-5 af 18 (næste | vis alle)
very thorough and well documented. An unparalleled level of useful detail.
I got bored, though, eventually, because I did not get along well with how it is structured. I would have preferred chapters with general presentation (it was like this in this period, or it was like this in this thing) and then entire life stories per each person/family. As it actually is (a mix of history and bits of life stories continued elsewhere) it turns confusing and thick. ( )
  milosdumbraci | May 5, 2023 |
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  TorontoOratorySPN | Sep 1, 2022 |
Orlando Figes is a professor of History and award-inning distinguished author garnering numerous prizes for his documentation of Russian history, culture, and politics. "The Whisperers" begins in 1917 and the Revolution, taking the reader, along with the multitude of Russian citizens through World War I, World War II, and into the Cold War under Khrushchev and Brezhnev. It is an incredible compilation of mesmerizing personal stories, bringing these ordinary people to life with all their emotions; fear, anger, love, pride, hope, terror, shame, and loneliness.

"The Whisperers" is based on two groups of Russian society – the first being the silent conformists who feared punishment for speaking out against the Soviet regime. This included Russia’s entire population.

The other group of whisperers were the informers. They whispered behind one’s back to police of anyone they suspected of not being 100% supportive of Stalin and his dictatorship. This created an atmosphere of terror because there were no trials, no explanations requested, and no proof required of guilt. Police just showed up at a home, usually in the middle of the night, and took away the family; to labor camps, orphanages, the Gulag, deportation to Siberia, or simply to execution – never to be seen or heard from again.

Ayn Rand lived through the Russian Revolution and wrote the fictional story "We the Living"" based on her own experiences. But her story is just the tip of the iceberg because she escaped in the early years of Red Terror before millions of good law-abiding citizens were purged.

The Revolution that started out as a quest for utopian equity quickly became overrun with gready power-hungry bullies. First, the new Soviet government took away religion. Then they destroyed family values and family unity. Then they took control of the media. And lastly, they confiscated the countries resources and wealth and destroyed Capitalism.

It is incredible the ‘Stalin’s Reign of Terror’ also referred to as ‘Red Terror’ lasted over 35 years. Image living in a country where every word spoken could be turned against you- friends turned on friends, neighbors turned on neighbors, children turned on parents. No one could be trusted.

The facts of this book were accumulated through many sources (45 pages cited). It was common for individuals to keep diaries and bury them with-In floors and walls because they could not verbally express their emotions, fears, and their opinions to anyone – not even family members. The diaries served as a mental release of pent up anxiety. After the Red Terror ended many such diaries were discovered and archived. In addition, Russian citizens who survived to see the collapse of Stalin’s Socialist regime volunteered to be interviewed after they were no longer feared repercussions for speaking out.

Even if you have already read volumes on Russian history, "The Whisperers" is a real eye opener. It was just as bad as the Nazi Holocaust. The only difference is the Nazis targeted a select group of people. Stalin’s Reign of Terror targeted anyone… and everyone. ( )
  LadyLo | Dec 3, 2019 |
Rarely have I read a book more in need of a strong editor. A classic on the experience of children in Stalinist Russia is diluted by the inclusion of such parallel stories as Siminov's biography. This life gives us a glimpse into the issues of censorship, but surely this would have sat better in a book on that topic?

The main thrust, this wave of indoctrination and misery is a must read and makes one look differently at the indoctrination imposed on the children of the west, thankfully provided with much less misery. New social structures expose our worst nature and, in a few rare cases, rare acts of incredible kindness and bravery. ( )
  wildfry | Feb 20, 2019 |
Probably more frightening to read about than the Holocaust. I keep coming back to people with "spoiled biographies," and how all the terror and interrogation resulted in "information spreading and mutating like a virus" until no person could be sure about the truth.

I say the Bolsheviks got the humiliation they deserved when Svetlana Stalin defected to the U.S. on an anniversary of their glorious revolution. ( )
  KaterinaBead | Mar 31, 2016 |
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Orlando Figesprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Brice, SilvijaOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Telfer, JohnFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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For my mother, Eva Figes (nee Unger, Berlin 1932) and to the memory of the family we lost.
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A landmark account of what private life was like for Russians in the worst years of Soviet repression. We know of the public aspects of Stalin's dictatorship: the arrests and trials, the enslavement and killing in the gulags. No previous book, however, has explored the regime's effect on people's personal lives. Now, drawing on a huge collection of newly discovered documents, this book reveals the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens amidst the mistrust, fear, compromises, and betrayals that pervaded their existence. Cultural historian Figes re-creates the moral maze in which Russians found themselves, where one wrong turn could destroy a family. He brings us inside cramped communal apartments, where minor squabbles could lead to fatal denunciations; he examines the Communist faithful, who often rationalized even their own arrests; and he casts a humanizing light on informers, demonstrating how, in a repressive system, anyone could easily become a collaborator.--From publisher description.

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