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Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival Paperback – 1 Sep 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Walker & Company; Reprint edition (Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802717608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802717603
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.3 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,464,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Few books say so much about Russia then and now, and its effect on those it touches.”—"Economist

"“[A] resonant memoir…Call it irrationality, call it Russian maximalism, but the letters, papers and confidences Matthews inhabits in "Stalin’s Children "rehabilitate all the generations they touch—including his own—showing how their times shaped their choices.”—"New York Times Book Review

"“A moving book written with a tender yet unsentimental eye, a deeply intimate account that reveals through the lives of Matthews’ own family how the Soviet experience shaped, and destroyed, millions of people.”—"Seattle Times""" "At a time when Russia is reasserting itself on the international stage,"Stalin's Children" should be required reading for anyone involved with economic, cultural or political relations with that country.... [A]n epic tale pitting the human spirit against the utopias and the dark reali

"Few books say so much about Russia then and now, and its effect on those it touches."--"Economist

""[A] resonant memoir...Call it irrationality, call it Russian maximalism, but the letters, papers and confidences Matthews inhabits in "Stalin's Children "rehabilitate all the generations they touch--including his own--showing how their times shaped their choices."--"New York Times Book Review

""A moving book written with a tender yet unsentimental eye, a deeply intimate account that reveals through the lives of Matthews' own family how the Soviet experience shaped, and destroyed, millions of people."--"Seattle Times""" "At a time when Russia is reasserting itself on the international stage,"Stalin's Children" should be required reading for anyone involved with economic, cultural or political relations with that country.... [A]n epic tale pitting the human spirit against the utopias and the dark realities that shaped Russian governance over three generations.... [A] narrative that moves seamlessly back and forth through history...a timeless portrait of the Russian soul.... All in all Mathews' contribution offers a poignant and insightful reading experience, leaving one with a keener sense of the unseen forces that drive present-day Russia."--"The New York Post""" "Few countries have been haunted more by a terrible past than Russia. In "StalinOs Children "Owen Matthews has written of the ghosts of his own family, with grandparents arrested in the Great Terror and his mother consigned to a Soviet orphanage when still an infant. His parentsO love for each other, kept alight across the Iron Curtain, makes an extraordinary story. This wonderful memoir brings to life the human victims of a terrifyingly inhuman system."--"Sunday Telegraph"
"[A] fascinating family memoir. Matthews relates this dramatic tale in understated but lovely prose...[an] extraordinary tale."--"Publishers Weekly"
"A heartbreaking, romantic and utterly compelling piece of reportage that superbly tells the story of four generations of the author's own family across 20th Century Russia, from Tsarist aristocracy to Stalinist elite, from the torture chambers of Stalin's Terror and the honeytraps of 1960s KGB to the coke-snorting orgies of 1990s Moscow Babylon and the battlefields of Chechnya. Here is an astonishing personal history of love, death and betrayal in Russia by a half-Russian writer who really knows the texture of the Motherland."--Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar and Young Stalin"


Few books say so much about Russia then and now, and its effect on those it touches. "Economist"

[A] resonant memoir Call it irrationality, call it Russian maximalism, but the letters, papers and confidences Matthews inhabits in "Stalin's Children "rehabilitate all the generations they touch--including his own--showing how their times shaped their choices. "New York Times Book Review"

A moving book written with a tender yet unsentimental eye, a deeply intimate account that reveals through the lives of Matthews' own family how the Soviet experience shaped, and destroyed, millions of people. "Seattle Times"

At a time when Russia is reasserting itself on the international stage,"Stalin's Children" should be required reading for anyone involved with economic, cultural or political relations with that country.... [A]n epic tale pitting the human spirit against the utopias and the dark realities that shaped Russian governance over three generations.... [A] narrative that moves seamlessly back and forth through history...a timeless portrait of the Russian soul.... All in all Mathews' contribution offers a poignant and insightful reading experience, leaving one with a keener sense of the unseen forces that drive present-day Russia. "The New York Post"

Few countries have been haunted more by a terrible past than Russia. In "StalinOs Children "Owen Matthews has written of the ghosts of his own family, with grandparents arrested in the Great Terror and his mother consigned to a Soviet orphanage when still an infant. His parentsO love for each other, kept alight across the Iron Curtain, makes an extraordinary story. This wonderful memoir brings to life the human victims of a terrifyingly inhuman system. "Sunday Telegraph"

[A] fascinating family memoir. Matthews relates this dramatic tale in understated but lovely prose...[an] extraordinary tale. "Publishers Weekly"

A heartbreaking, romantic and utterly compelling piece of reportage that superbly tells the story of four generations of the author's own family across 20th Century Russia, from Tsarist aristocracy to Stalinist elite, from the torture chambers of Stalin's Terror and the honeytraps of 1960s KGB to the coke-snorting orgies of 1990s Moscow Babylon and the battlefields of Chechnya. Here is an astonishing personal history of love, death and betrayal in Russia by a half-Russian writer who really knows the texture of the Motherland. "Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar and Young Stalin""

About the Author

Owen Matthews was born in London and spent part of his childhood in America. He studied Modern History at Oxford University before beginning his career as a journalist in Bosnia. In 1995 he accepted a job at "The Moscow Times," a daily English-language newspaper. He also freelanced for a number of publications including the" Times," the "Spectator" and the "Independent." In 1997, he became a correspondent at "Newsweek" magazine in Moscow where he covered the second Chechen war, as well as politics and society. Owen was also one of the first journalists to witness the start of the U.S. bombing in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, 2001, and went on to cover the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Owen is currently "Newsweek"'s bureau chief in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Not only does Owen Matthews succeed in striking a tricky balance between history and unsentimental memoir, but in the process he writes a real page-turner. It's a romantic and moving political and personal story that is very well told. This ought to be on the 'books of the year' lists.
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Format: Hardcover
In writing the story of three generations of his family the author shares a piece of his soul with the readers, the love story of his parents Mila and Mervyn, victims of 1960s Anglo-Soviet relations. This is a wonderful, deeply romantic book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fine book, capturing the terror, banality and pathos of the Stalinist era. It also manages to apprehend something of the surreal atmosphere of post-Soviet Russia. All of it conveyed in elegant prose and a complicated narrative about the lives of three generations that Owen manages to synchronise deftly. But most of all, one comes away with a sense of the immense endurance of a people, their courage and dignity as well as their determination to value books and ideas under difficult circumstances. The extraordinary lives of Matthew Owen's Russian mother and her family leave one awestruck.
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