- The Last Days of the Soviet Empire
- Narrated by: Michael Prichard
- Length: 29 hrs and 5 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 01-12-15
- Language: English
- Publisher: Random House Audio
Regular price: £47.49
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for £47.49
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Darwin8u on 18-06-18
Society is sick of history. It is too much with us
"Society is sick of history. It is too mucy with us."
- Arseny Roginsky, quoted in David Remnick, Lenin's Tomb
While Remnick was writing for the Washington Post in Moscow, my family was living in Izmir, Turkey and then in Bitburg, Germany. We got the opportunity to travel to Moscow shortly after the August, 1991 (the beginning of my Senior year) Coup. It was a strange period. So much changed so fast. I was trading my Levi jeans in St. Petersburg and Moscow for Communist flags, Army medals, busts of Lenin. It was only as I got older that I realized both how crazy the USSR/Russia was during that time and how blessed the Washington Post was to have David Remnick writing "home" about it.
I've read other books by Remnick (The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama and King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero, and parts of Reporting: Writings from The New Yorker). The New Yorker is where I discovered and fell in love with his prose. So, with Remnick, I was reading backwards. It was time I read what is perhaps his greatest work. Lenin's Tomb is a comprehensive look at the last years of the Soviet Union from the election of Gorbachev (with occasional backward glances at Khrushchev, etc. It was nice to get more information about Andrei Sakharov (I knew only broad aspects of his story, and still need to read more) and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (I know more about him, but need to read more of his work).
Some of this isn't dated. No. That is the wrong word. It is history, and by definition all history is dated, but the book ends with a lot of potential energy. It is sad to see that a lot of the potential for Russia's democracy has been lost into the authoritarianism of Putin. It is also scary to read quotes from Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and unabaashed neofacists who won 8 million votes in 1991, and hear words that could easily have been spoken by Donald Trump. Nations and regimes are never as solid as we think. Often the corruption that exists for years, like a cavity, eats away at the insitutions until they become empty husks and everything colapses. Perhaps, that is one lesson WE in the United States (and Europe) should learn from the Soviet Union's collapse in the early 90s. Perhaps, it is too late.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By james on 10-05-17
One of the best books I've listened to on Audible
What was one of the most memorable moments of Lenin's Tomb?
There were several. The author's efforts to contact Kaganovich, descriptions of Magadan and Solzhenitsyn, the subtle underlying antisemitism, the origins of Mikhail Sergeyevitch, and more.
What about Michael Prichard’s performance did you like?
I thought it was superb. He was engaging and I always found myself wanting to keep listening.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Not an extreme reaction, but I did have a considerably greater desire to keep listening
1 of 1 people found this review helpful