The Maisky Diaries

  • by Gabriel Gorodetsky
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 24 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The terror and purges of Stalin's Russia in the 1930s discouraged Soviet officials from leaving documentary records, let alone keeping personal diaries. A remarkable exception is the unique diary assiduously kept by Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London between 1932 and 1943. This selection from Maisky's diary grippingly documents Britain's drift to war during the 1930s, appeasement in the Munich era, negotiations leading to the signature of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, Churchill's rise to power, the German invasion of Russia, and the intense debate over the opening of the second front. Maisky was distinguished by his great sociability and access to the key players in British public life. Among his range of regular contacts were politicians, press barons, ambassadors, intellectuals, writers, and indeed royalty. His diary further reveals the role personal rivalries within the Kremlin played in the formulation of Soviet policy at the time. Scrupulously edited and checked against a vast range of Russian and Western archival evidence, this extraordinary narrative diary offers a fascinating revision of the events surrounding the Second World War.


What the Critics Say

"An extraordinary document left by an extraordinary man." (The Independent)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


If you're interested in understanding more about Britain's role in appeasing Nazi Germany in the 1930s and Britain's relations with the USSR during WW2 then this is a great resource. Maisky's diaries are very well written. spare but penetrating. Seems he was regarded as a bit of a genius in his own lifetime. And John Lee's reading, as you might expect, adds much to this surprisingly interesting & entertaining audiobook. Only one warning. You need to be familiar with the basic history of the period which most British audiences will be thanks to TV series like the World at War. This is political history at first hand written by a man who lived through it all and knew all the key statesman of the time, many of whom he was on close personal terms with. Chamberlain, Churchill, Eden, Beaverbrook, Stalin, Litvinoff, Beatrice & Syney Web, George Bernard Shaw and many more. The final chapter deals with Maisky's return to Russia and his barbarous imprisonment and persecution by the beastly Stalinist regime he had served so well.
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- Mr. Acapella

Brilliant as close to Tine travel as we can get!

This book is a stunning revelation from an ambassador in the centre of world events prior to WW2 and is a must for students of Russian history.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2015
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio