Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

Lenin s Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire In the tradition of John Reed s classic Ten Days That Shook the World this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with t

  • Title: Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire
  • Author: David Remnick
  • ISBN: 9780679751250
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Paperback
  • Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

    In the tradition of John Reed s classic Ten Days That Shook the World, this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism A moving illumination Remnick is the witness for us all Wall Street Journal.

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    One thought on “Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

    1. 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 1 [...]

    2. Chris

      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."

    3. Dem

      Having to put this one on hold for awhile, as while I was loving the book wasn't I wasn't happy with the audio version as this is one that needs to be read in order to underline and get the best from the book and my Library trying to source a copy for me as they don't have one in stock. Terrific read so far and really hoping I get my hands on a hard copy soon.

    4. Gini

      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 [...]

    5. Daniel

      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 [...]

    6. Mike

      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 [...]

    7. 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 hype [...]

    8. Jonfaith

      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 [...]

    9. Max

      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 [...]

    10. Artak Aleksanyan

      Շատ երկար ժամանակ չէի կարդում պատմական non-fiction, գուցե այն պարզ պատճառով, որ առաջին կրթությամբ լինելով պատմաբան, հոգնել էի դրանցից։ Ուղիղ 20 տարի անց, կարդացի։The New Yorker ամերիկյան հեղինակավոր ամսագրի գլխավոր խմբագիր Դեյվիդ Ռեմնիկը 1988-1991 թվականներին աշխատել է The Wahsington Post-ի սեփակա [...]

    11. Chintogtokh

      I suppose it’s hard to digest post-1917 Russian history from an entirely objective point of view as a Mongolian, their histories have been entangled too much. Indeed one thought kept creeping from the back of my mind while reading this book: Mongolia became an independent country for the first time in its history just 25 years ago. 1921 doesn’t count: how can it when its leaders were routinely brought to Moscow for bullet-wounds or forced exile. Before that was the Qing. And before that – [...]

    12. Elisa

      This is one huge journalistic effort, chockfull of interviews with everyone from a miner who is waking up to the idea of being able to go on strike, to Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. In fact, Remnick probably interviewed everyone except Stalin (and Stalin's elusive right-hand man, who avoided being interviewed during the late 1980's for obvious reasons). You get to know and understand Russian society at a critical juncture in its history, which unavoidably leads to digging in the past for [...]

    13. Hadrian

      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.

    14. 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. [...]

    15. Matt

      This was a really really good book. Asked point blank by 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 has the ling [...]

    16. Rod Zemke

      This a truly great work by David Remnick. It is the second time reading this book. I read it shortly after publication and just finished for the second time. A great historical account of the Soviet Union and its demise. I think this book helped propel Remnick into the upper ranks on nonfiction writers and into the editorship of the New Yorker.

    17. Anthony

      Maybe the most impressive piece of journalism I have ever read. The author let the many characters speak for themselves, adding flashes of his personal life only when necessary. How very lucky Remnick was to have been where he was, when he was. With this book, I felt like I was there.

    18. Nick Black

      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.

    19. Alain

      4,5/5Cuando me compré el libro, pensaba que sería un relato cronológico de los sucesivos eventos que llevaron a la desintegración de la URSS. En lugar de eso, me he encontrado con un retrato poco convencional de la sociedad soviética durante la segunda mitad de los años 80 que permite entender perfectamente qué es lo que hace que el sistema cayera por su propio peso y, además, comprender por qué la Rusia actual es como es.Remnick explica cada aspecto relevante de la sociedad soviética [...]

    20. Matt

      In 1989-1991 I did not understand the complexities that led to the fall of the Soviet Union--could not even had I wanted to. The ensuing fallout of the USSR's collapse meant nothing to me, a young teenager. Instead, I eventually became a bandwagon American who gloated over a Cold War victory through much of which I didn't live, and to which I contributed nothing. Good had vanquished evil! Capitalism's invisible hand slit communism's throat! Freedom will always win! Right?Books such as this are p [...]

    21. Chris Chester

      How and when did the Soviet Union break up? As a child of the '90s, nobody ever really explained it. One minute, the bad guys in video games and movies hail from the USSR (whatever that means) and the next thing you know, they've reverted to Russia. Considering how important a foe they're billed to be, education about their history was strangely lacking, even at the comparatively good schools I attended.I've since read all of Robert K. Massie's tremendous work about Peter and Catherine the Great [...]

    22. Sher

      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 [...]

    23. tomsyak

      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 Ameri [...]

    24. Philip Kuhn

      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 [...]

    25. Aaron

      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 [...]

    26. Michael Gerald

      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 [...]

    27. Steve Heil

      I expected "The Last Days of the Soviet Empire" to be a review of the events leading up to the dissolution of the USSR in Dec 1991, but the first half of the book goes all the way back to the late 1800's and early 1900's. Good history and context for the events that occurred in the late 1980's, but a bit heavy for a title like "The last days of the USSR". The first half of the book was a slog for me, but the second half of the book was excellent. Great coverage of the coup d'etat attempt. The au [...]

    28. Nicole

      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.

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