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It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past Paperback – 15 Jan 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (15 January 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780300192377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300192377
  • ASIN: 0300192371
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product description


A sweeping study of how the former Soviet Unions bloody past continues to poison Russias present and threatens to strangle the countrys future.NewsweekNewsweekA book full of vivid and well-chosen anecdotes.Financial TimesFinancial Times'David Satter delivers one of the most harrowing stories of all time. . . This is a rare book by many measures, not least of which is the way in which Satter captures the magnitude of Russian atrocities and the frightening realities that people accept as part of their daily lives. By no means is Russia unique in being a nation that must grapple with the question of national cruelty and corruption. . . but its rich history makes it story all the more fascinatingand tragic.'Jedd Beaudoin, PopMattersJedd BeaudoinPopMatters'Ameticulous, sweeping and wrenching history of Russia's burial of Soviet crimes. It is also a sensitive, compelling and convincing exploration of the importance of memory. But it makes a broader contention - that forgetting is a symptom of an illness that Russia contracted before the Soviet era. . .a humane, measured, first-hand, historically and philosophically rooted argument that is hard to refute.'Andrew Gardner, European VoiceAndrew GardnerEuropean Voice'David Satter has written a book full of vivid and well chosen anecdotes. . . . The use of nostalgia is Satter's field. Russia is not, he believes, able to give itself a chance; in love with their chains, its people cannot face up to the horrors of a past they wish to ignore or romanticize.'John Lloyd, Financial TimesJohn LlyodFinancial TimesA meticulous, sweeping and wrenching history of Russia's burial of Soviet crimes a sensitive, compelling and convincing exploration of the importance of memory.European VoiceEuropean Voice' does a brilliant job of chronicling the human consequences of Communism.'The National ReviewNational ReviewSatter grapples with an elemental failing of Russias leaders and people. . . . Russia, he argues, refuses to face the fundamental moral depravity of its Soviet past. . . . Expansive and brilliantly explored . . . compelling.Foreign AffairsForeign AffairsTruly illuminating.Satter is both a gifted journalist and a chronicler of intellectual and political currents.Splendidly researched and engagingly written, this book offers invaluable vignettes of various reactions to the still unprocessed remembrance of totalitarian times.Vladimir Tismaneanu, International AffairsVladimir TismaneanuInternational Affairs'Rich in detail and enthused by civil passion, It Was A Long Time Ago contains many precise, moving and original observations.'Alexander Etkind, Times Literary SupplementAlexander EtkindThe Times Literary Supplement and ldquo;David Satter has written a classic of its kind, investigating the psychological reactions that modern Russians feel towards the crimes of their Communist forebears. and rdquo; and mdash;Andrew Roberts, The American SpectatorAndrew RobertsThe American Spectator and ldquo;Compelling, a journalist and rsquo;s book. and rdquo; and mdash;ChoiceChoice 'E.H. Carr made the point that, to understand how history gets written, one first has to understand who the historian is and the age in which they are writing. I was reminded of this warning when reading Satter's fascinating study of how Russia has, since 2000, been trying to construct its own particular version of the past that directly serves Vladimir Putin's purposes - with the obvious caveat that they are not dealing with a sole historian but a whole state apparatus - Professor Michael Cox, BBC History MagazineProfessor Michael CoxBBC History Magazine

About the Author

David Satter is senior fellow, Hudson Institute, and fellow, Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He was Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times from 1976 to 1982, then a special correspondent on Soviet affairs for the Wall Street Journal.

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