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The Patriots Hardcover – 2 Mar 2017

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (2 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783781815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783781812
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'Urgently relevant, The Patriots asks huge, complex questions about identity, loyalty, truth and self-deception, and explores tangled historical connections between Russia and the US... At the heart of this weighty and engaging novel are true stories: hundreds of Americans living in the USSR in the 1930s and lives there today... The Patriots contains elements of family saga, corporate thriller, historical novel and philosophical bildungsroman. Krasikov writes with a poetic ear for sound and cadence' -- Guardian

'[Full of] rich themes... ambitious' -- Financial Times

'[An] ambitious historical saga from first-time novelist Krasikov... Bold' -- Sunday Times

'[An] outstanding historical saga [and] a dazzling and addictive piece of work... Accomplished and packed with believable detail and entertaining dialogue [The Patriots] also feels curiously relevant, tip-toeing around the complicated relationship between the United States and Russia during and after the Cold War... As an intelligent literary commentary on Russo-American relations of the past century, it's unparalleled' -- Spectator
'The Patriots is a masterwork, a Dr Zhivago for our times. It is a novel rooted in characters so real you weep over their tragic fates, so realized you think you're watching a movie, with sentences so sharp and wise they stop you in your tracks. The story of dreamy Florence Fein, from Flatbush, Brooklyn, will break your heart' Yann Martel

'A sweeping, ambitious kaleidoscope of family, faith, identity, idealism, and displacement... I found on every page an observation so acute, a sentence of such truth and shining detail, that it demanded re-reading for the sheer pleasure of it. The Patriots has convinced me that Krasikov belongs among the totemic young writers of her era' --Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner

'Krasikov has a real gift for storytelling. She combines love affairs with brilliant evocations of Stalinism, from detailed accounts of Soviet state orphanages to examples of Russian anti-Semitism and the brutality of all-night interrogations by the secret police... An astonishing first novel by a very gifted young writer' Jewish Chronicle

'[A] sweeping tale of family, identity and ideals' --A Must-Read in 2017, Lady

'Krasikov moves deftly between two eras in Russia marked by deal-making, connivance and treachery... A sweeping, colourful read that might get Warren Beatty thinking about a Reds II' -- Mail on Sunday

'Impressive... [a] multi-generational political thriller [and] a masterclass in historical fiction' -- Press Association

'[A] sweeping epic... a believable and astonishingly accomplished tapestry of lives caught between the turning cogs of history... Tragic, poetic and intimate' --
Skinny

'Bold... convey[ing] a rich, evocative portrait of Moscow through the ages... A truly fascinating journey and examination of the development of political morality... it will reward you for the time you invest in it' -- Sleepless Editor

'Compelling... Krasikov's characters are so vivid that you almost think you are watching events unfold on a movie screen... The Patriots is a novel which encompasses many themes - identity, family, love, self-deception and the dangers of political ideology. it's a beautifully written epic novel, and it will certainly be one of my stand-out reads of the year' -- Culture Life

'[The Patriots] draws you in and envelops you completely, [with] characters who are as vivid as friends. Krasikov tackles huge themes with aplomb, her writing as confident as a veteran's. Particularly in the anniversary year of teh Revolution, what she has to say on the compromises we make for idealism - for love of country - is worth reading' --Elle Thinks

About the Author

Sana Krasikov's debut short story collection, One More Year, was named a finalist for the 2009 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the New York Public Library's Young Lions' Fiction Award, received a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, and won the 2009 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker and the Atlantic, among other publications. Born in Ukraine, Krasikov grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and New York, where she currently lives with her husband and their two children.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found it a boring book. I could not get into it at all. I gave up long before the end. G. Mc Menemy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. A different way of looking at that period in history
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Most excellent
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By SueKich TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Mar. 2017
Format: Hardcover
The relationship between America and Russia dominated the 20th century and now, with Trump in the White House, their high-stakes chess game continues to fascinate (and terrify) the world’s onlookers. Sana Krasikov’s impressive debut novel, set mainly in Russia, spans the period between the 1930s and 2008 and in true-to-cliché form will no doubt be termed ‘a sweeping saga’. But the intimacy of Ms Krasikov’s story, the strength of her characters and the power of her writing ensure that The Patriots transcends the usual multi-generational saga genre. It also transposes the usual direction of the immigrant experience.

Florence Fein is the daughter of Russian-Jewish parents who have immigrated to the States. Brought up in a modest but loving Brooklyn household, Florence spurns her family’s American dream and yearns to do something more meaningful with her life. A job with the Soviet Trade Mission in Cleveland leads to an affair with a Russian engineer on temporary secondment. When he returns to the mother country, Florence confuses her love for him with her altruistic ideals. Whatever the spur, she sheds her comfortable capitalist life and sets sail in 1934 for Stalinist Russia. This is the first of Florence’s many misguided choices that will reverberate down through the generations. For an intelligent woman, she is remarkably foolish.

Decades later, her Russian-born son Yulik will be denied a university degree because the Jewish quota is full. Reversing his mother’s path, he immigrates to America, changes his name to Julian, and becomes a highly respected design-engineer of icebreakers, ships built to slice through to the Arctic’s New Oil.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 93 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Patriots of Russia realized how wonderful America is before they were doomed. 21 April 2017
By Sandy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had a difficult time with the main character.At times I wanted to slap her for her stupidity. What she took for granted in America freedom of speech, freedom of the press she didn't realize her great country of Russia didn't have the same beliefs.Sorry but I couldn't find ny sympathy for her. The book was good, but didn't really go into much how the people of Russia suffered in WW2. They were such a backwards country.the reign of terror in the book didn't even come close to reality of Russia.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read with a Warning! 28 Feb. 2017
By Jean L. Konzal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once I started reading The Patriot by Sana Krasikov I couldn’t put it down. It is a story of how a young Jewish girl, Florence Fein, a graduate of Brooklyn College, made an impulsive and naive decision to immigrate to the Soviet Union in 1933 in search of her Soviet lover. This decision had tragic repercussions for Florence, her son, Julian, and her grandson, Lenny.

Toggling between modern day Russia and the Soviet Union of the 1930s and 1950s, this novel fully captures the day-to-day lives of Russians and Americans trapped in Stalin and Putin’s treacherous and unpredictable worlds. It also reveals how the United States State Department, the American ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph Davies, and even the then president, FDR, conspired to prevent Americans trapped in the Soviet Union from returning to the USA. It rings true. I know because my aunt was trapped and perished there during the 1938 purges. The research I have done for a family memoir confirms it.

Terrifying to me was Krasikov’s ability to slowly, scene by scene, tighten the noose around ordinary people; to show how during Stalin’s era friends, husbands, wives, and children were trapped into denouncing their friends and relatives; to bring alive the stifling fear they faced.

Additionally and equally frightening are the chapters set in modern day Russia. Reverberations of the impact of deals between American oil companies and Russia left me shocked with parallels to our current crisisA quote cited in the book about Stalin’s era from Eric Hoffer’s book The True Believer (1951) is chillingly predictive of today’s world:
All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world….It is the true believer’s ability to “shut his eyes and stop his ears” to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacles nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence….

Both as a compelling page-turner and as a warning about current events The Patriots is a must read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good 18 Feb. 2017
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Entertaining, but long. The audiobook version is excellent. The narrators are entertaining and the voices and accents are just enough without being distracting.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving reflection on history and humanity 15 April 2017
By vincel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book over a period of 5 days. Perhaps because of my age (76) and international life experience during most of my life, I found this book powerful and beautiful in so many different dimensions. Statistics became people; moral dilemmas lived history; and reality presented in so many different dimensions. To me this is a wonderful read for history students, theology students and anyone truly interested in absorbing and understanding the many flavors and colors of today's complicated world.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is a patriot: read an historical novel based on fact or read fact-altered tweets? 16 Feb. 2017
By amachinist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This multigenerational novel begins in the 1930's with the emigration of Florence Fein to Russia. She goes not because she is a card carrying Communist, but for the lust/love of a Soviet engineer and the "notion" that the "Soviet Union was a place where the future was already being lived." It did not take long for her to experience there the privations in food, housing and personal freedoms. Florie becomes the victim of both anti-semitism and anti-americanism. She can never be patriotic enough because who she is will make one suspect of what she does. She becomes paranoid of friends and neighbors and opts out of chances to escape. In the end, she pays the ultimate price of prison, internal exile and the betrayal of a fellow American. Florence's son Julian, born in Moscow, is forced to spend seven formative years of his childhood in a Russian orphanage. This experience scars him, but cannot stifle his intelligence. He earns a PhD in engineering, but is denied the degree because there is a quota on Jews receiving degrees. Feeling trapped by "the system", Julian seizes an opportunity for himself and his family (including Florence) to emigrate to the USA in 1977. There, he earns his degree and finds a lucrative profession as an engineer. Ironically, because of his Russian background, Julian is employed by an international petroleum firm and gets the opportunity to return to Russia. His youngest child, Lenny, has moved back to Russia with a plan of "making it big" in the emerging financial markets. Naive Lenny, like his beloved grandmother, gets caught in the web of Russian business "smoke and mirrors" and is imprisoned. Can Julian save his son?

The Patriots is not a great piece of literature. It would benefit from editing to make the story shorter. Despite these failings, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT BOOK TO READ AT THIS TIME IN USA HISTORY. The novel accurately chronicles seventy years of the lack of true intelligence information and the naivete of American policy makers toward the USSR. It chronicles the iron grip of the government on its people, the pecking order within the work place and society as a whole which breeds paranoia and suspicion. Even in the 21st century, government critics are imprisoned or murdered. This is not rule of law, but rule of fear where money and power may or may not hold sway. Lines from the work of Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, should stun the reader as to its current salience: " It is a place where every lunatic proposition is self-evident while universal truths are hauled in for questioning." It is up to the reader to decide for which nation this quote applies.
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