The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia

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A remarkable piece of forgotten history- the never-before-told story of Americans lured to Soviet Russia by the promise of jobs and better lives, only to meet tragic ends

In 1934, a photograph was taken of a baseball team. These two rows of young men look like any group of American ballplayers, except perhaps for the Russian lettering on their jerseys. The players have left their homeland and the Great Depression in search of a better life in Stalinist Russia, but instead they will meet tragic and, until now, forgotten fates. Within four years, most of them will be arrested alongside untold numbers of other Americans. Some will be executed. Others will be sent to "corrective labor" camps where they will be worked to death. This book is the story of lives-the forsaken who died and those who survived.

Based on groundbreaking research, The Forsaken is the story of Americans whose dreams were shattered and lives lost in Stalinist Russia.
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About the author

Born in Athens, Timotheos Tzouladis was raised in England. A graduate of Oxford, he subsequently pursued a career as a documentary filmmaker and television journalist whose work has appeared on NBC and National Geographic television. He lives in London.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Jul 17, 2008
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781440637032
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
History / United States / 20th Century
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the award-winning author of A People's Tragedy and Natasha's Dance, a landmark account of what private life was like for Russians in the worst years of Soviet repression

There have been many accounts of the public aspects of Stalin's dictatorship: the arrests and trials, the enslavement and killing in the gulags. No previous book, however, has explored the regime's effect on people's personal lives, what one historian called "the Stalinism that entered into all of us." Now, drawing on a huge collection of newly discovered documents, The Whisperers reveals for the first time the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens as they struggled to survive amidst the mistrust, fear, compromises, and betrayals that pervaded their existence.


Moving from the Revolution of 1917 to the death of Stalin and beyond, Orlando Figes re-creates the moral maze in which Russians found themselves, where one wrong turn could destroy a family or, perversely, end up saving it. He brings us inside cramped communal apartments, where minor squabbles could lead to fatal denunciations; he examines the Communist faithful, who often rationalized even their own arrest as a case of mistaken identity; and he casts a humanizing light on informers, demonstrating how, in a repressive system, anyone could easily become a collaborator.

A vast panoramic portrait of a society in which everyone spoke in whispers—whether to protect their families and friends, or to inform upon them—The Whisperers is a gripping account of lives lived in impossible times.

La asombrosa y olvidada historia de cómo miles de estadounidenses huyeron de la Gran Depresión a Rusia en busca de empleo y una vida mejor para acabar atrapados en la pesadilla estalinista.

En la década de 1930, la Gran Depresión golpea ferozmente a Estados Unidos y miles de jóvenes sin empleo, defraudados por el sueño americano, que ya no ofrece riqueza ni prosperidad, emigran a la Unión Soviética, el paraíso de los trabajadores, en busca de una oportunidad y de un sueño de signo contrario: el socialismo. Sin embargo, la promesa de un futuro mejor pronto se desmorona al comprobar las duras condiciones en las que han de vivir, y muchos de ellos quieren regresar. Es entonces cuando descubren toda la verdad: han perdido la nacionalidad estadounidense y con ella cualquier posibilidad de retorno. Atrapados en el terror estalinista y olvidados por su país de origen, la mayoría de ellos perecerán en la helada estepa rusa, víctimas de larepresión y de los campos de reeducación, extenuados por el frío, el hambre y los trabajos forzados.

Fruto de años de investigación en archivos internacionales, Los olvidados constituye una extraordinaria aportación a la historia de las barbaries del siglo XX, al tiempo que contribuye a una mejor comprensión de cuestiones eternas como la culpa y la inocencia que aún hoy nos acosan.

La crítica ha dicho...
«Notable relato de las vidas de los extranjeros que trabajaron, padecieron y finalmente murieron en la Unión Soviética. La sombría naturaleza del material no consigue acallar la maravillosa voz narrativa de Tzouliadis.»
Noel Malcolm, Telegraph

«Tzouliadis ha revelado una historia que estadounidenses y soviéticos preferirían olvidar.»
Virginia Rounding, The Independent

«La lectura de este libro abrirá sus ojos con toda seguridad.»
Richard Pipes, The Sun

«Tzouliadis conecta brillantemente la alta política con el sufrimiento de personas inocentes añadiendo detalles devastadores.»
George Walden, The Observer

«Arroja nueva luz sobre un viejo tema, el de la Rusia estalinista, de manera convincente. Y tiene algo verdaderamente inusual en un libro de historia: es totalmente absorbente.»
Paul Lay, presidente del jurado del Premio Longman - History Today

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