Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
on 5 June 2010
Antony Beevor, Sandhurst educated former British Army Officer again amazes with this story of upper class Russians surviving/trying to survive the Soviet revolution, Russian Civil war, Stalism in the USSR and Nazism in pre war and war time Germany. Basically the story of Olga Chekova, niece of the famous writer, Chekov and her balancing act to survive and prosper during one of the most fast moving and violent periods of world history. How she stayed out of Uncle Joe's gulags, Hitlers concentration camps and was acclaimed an almost heroine of the Soviet Union makes for fascinating reading.
Mr Beevor's research is painstaking and must take him years to pull his information together into a coherent, at times exiciting but always fascinating story. If you have read any of his other finely researched books such as 'Stalingrad' and 'The Spanish Civil War' then you know what to expect and you will not be dissapointed.
When I was given this as a present, I thought uh, upper class, arrogant Russians struggling to make ends meet during times of strife, be honest my sympathies were always with the workers. However, when I finally did put my nose into it, basically on the strength of Mr Beevor's earlier works I had devoured and enjoyed, I found I could not put it down. A view of life at all levels in early Soviet Russia and Hitler's Germany that one does not readily come across. All this is besides the spying and other things such as being a German Movie Diva.
If you like Beevor's earlier books and want something a tad different then give it a go.