SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, FT AND EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017
The momentous new book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag and Iron Curtain.
In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. It is one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the twentieth century. With unprecedented authority and detail, Red Famine investigates how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were. It is the fullest account yet published of these terrible events.
The book draws on a mass of archival material and first-hand testimony only available since the end of the Soviet Union, as well as the work of Ukrainian scholars all over the world. It includes accounts of the famine by those who survived it, describing what human beings can do when driven mad by hunger. It shows how the Soviet state ruthlessly used propaganda to turn neighbours against each other in order to expunge supposedly 'anti-revolutionary' elements. It also records the actions of extraordinary individuals who did all they could to relieve the suffering.
The famine was rapidly followed by an attack on Ukraine's cultural and political leadership - and then by a denial that it had ever happened at all. Census reports were falsified and memory suppressed. Some western journalists shamelessly swallowed the Soviet line; others bravely rejected it, and were undermined and harassed. The Soviet authorities were determined not only that Ukraine should abandon its national aspirations, but that the country's true history should be buried along with its millions of victims. Red Famine, a triumph of scholarship and human sympathy, is a milestone in the recovery of those memories and that history. At a moment of crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it also shows how far the present is shaped by the past.
A vivid and human glimpse into Europe's borderlands as they emerged from Soviet rule - back in print after nearly 20 years
'In this superb book, in which one senses the spirit of Franz Kafka and Bruno Schulz, the dramatic world of the Eastern borderlands comes to life' Ryszard Kapuscinski
As Europe's borderlands emerged from Soviet rule, Anne Applebaum travelled from the Baltic to the Black Sea, through Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and the Carpathian mountains. Rich in vivid characters and stories of tragedy and survival, Between East and West illuminates the soul of a place, and the secret history of its people.
'A beautifully written and thought-provoking account of a journey along Europe's forgotten edge' Timothy Garton Ash
'A vivid and penetrating assessment of the lands between the Baltic and the Black Sea in all their drama and desolation . . . a wise and useful book' Robert Conquest
'Combines the excitement of a well-written and adventurous travelogue with sophisticated reportage' Norman Davies
'You will be totally absorbed' Norman Stone
Anne Applebaum is a historian and journalist, a regular columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, and the author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, and Iron Curtain, which in 2013 won the Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature and the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature. She is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and she divides her time between Britain and Poland, where her husband, Radek Sikorski, serves as Foreign Minister.
A mesmerising, chilling close-up portrayal of Stalin from Milovan Djilas, a Communist insider - with an introduction from Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag and Iron Curtain
This extraordinarily vivid and unnerving book three meetings held with Stalin during and after the Second World War. Djilas brilliantly describes the dictator in his lair - cunning, cruel, enormously talented. Few books give as clear a sense of what made Stalin such a compelling figure and how he was able to hypnotise and terrify those around him. Djilas also describes the key members of Stalin's court: Beria, Malenkov, Zhukov, Molotov and Khruschchev. The result is a gripping account of the ruler at the height of his fame and power.
Chosen 16 times as a 'Book of the Year' - the top non-fiction pick of 2012
'The best work of modern history I have ever read' A. N. Wilson, Financial Times
At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union unexpectedly found itself in control of a huge swathe of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to a completely new political and moral system: Communism. Anne Applebaum's landmark history of this brutal time shows how societies were ruthlessly eviscerated by Communist regimes, how opposition was destroyed and what life was like for ordinary people who had to choose whether to fight, to flee or to collaborate.
A haunting reminder of how fragile freedom can be, Iron Curtain is an exceptional work of historical and moral reckoning.
ANNE APPLEBAUM is a historian and journalist, a regular columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, and the author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. She is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and she divides her time between Britain and Poland, where her husband, Radek Sikorski, serves as Foreign Minister.
'The outstanding book of the year ... a masterpiece' Oliver Kamm, The Times, Books of the Year
'Exceptionally important, wise, perceptive, remarkably objective' Antony Beevor
'Explains in a manner worthy of Arthur Koestler what totalitarianism really means ... it is a window into a world of lies and evil that we can hardly imagine' Edward Lucas, Standpoint
'At last the story can be told ... a magisterial history' Orlando Figes, Mail on Sunday
This landmark book uncovers for the first time in detail one of the greatest horrors of the twentieth century: the vast system of Soviet camps that were responsible for the deaths of countless millions.
Gulag is the only major history in any language to draw together the mass of memoirs and writings on the Soviet camps that have been published in Russia and the West. Using these, as well as her own original research in NKVD archives and interviews with survivors, Anne Applebaum has written a fully documented history of the camp system: from its origins under the tsars, to its colossal expansion under Stalin's reign of terror, its zenith in the late 1940s and eventual collapse in the era of glasnost. It is a gigantic feat of investigation, synthesis and moral reckoning.
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Anne Applebaum is the author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize, and Iron Curtain, which in 2013 won the Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature and the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature. She is Professor of Practice at the Institute for Global Affairs, London School of Economics, and a columnist for the Washington Post. She divides her time between Britain and Poland.