- 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)
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It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past Paperback – 15 Jan 2013
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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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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 52 reviews
Calling Evil, Evil16 October 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
I think a five star rating is supposed to mean that I loved this book. Confession. I did not love this book. I challenge you to read it and sleep soundly after you do. Almost everyone knows that Nazi Germany committed unspeakable atrocities. Hitler was in power from 1933- till 1945. Communists were in charge of Russia, then the U.S.S.R, from 1917-1991. That's a very long time for power mad, "leaders" with no conscience to inflict terror on powerless citizens. For some reason, the U.S.S,R. has been given a pass by many Western intellectuals. Many people believe that "they meant well." The saying goes that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This book is an account of that hell. And anyway, I do not believe that Lenin, Stalin, and their heirs really did have "good intentions." It's time we call what is evil, evil.This book does that.
11 people found this helpful
A difficult but essential book31 August 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
David Satter's book is depressing because of his reporting about the victims of Stalin and Stalin's somewhat better successors. But more depressing--and I know because I lived in Russia in the mid-90's when it was still open and the atmosphere was hopeful--is what has happened since the rise of Putin. I am afraid for my many Russian friends, and fearful to talk openly with them about what is happening now in Russia. The Chekists are listening again. I am very grateful to David Satter for his honest and unvarnished treatment of the truth about Russia, particularly the continuing failure of Russia's government and people to look honestly at their past, and what that past has made of them.
2 people found this helpful
Great read for all those w trying to understand the ...18 May 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Great read for all those w trying to understand the Russians! Well written and well researched and great perspective added through out the book. Bought it because my kids are all in the military and Russia is flexing its military muscles again so....wanted to understand a bit more about this nation; its culture and social norms. I was not disappointed because their is lots of context here to explain how Russian society views the world, themselves and resulting interactions. Lots of good examples provided.
3 people found this helpful
I could not put this book down!23 June 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
I just bought my Kindle, and this is the first book I have read on it. This book reads like a fast-paced, exciting novel, but this is History, Soviet History in all the horrific gore that produced an ocean of blood from 1918 to 1937, and even to the Putin era. I thought that no one could top Robert Conquest's "The Great Terror", but David Satter comes close. For me, the best part of this book is the entire chapter devoted to one of the most blood-thirsty mass-murders of the Soviet era: Felix Dzerzhinsky or "Iron Felix" as he was called by his murderous comrades. In fact, this is the first chapter of the book, and sets the tone for the whole book. To my knowledge, David Satter is one of the few writers to really explore the crimes of this first head of the "Cheka" (NKVD, KGB) and all of this blood was shed long before Stalin came to power. Trust me on this one, you NEED to read this book! Awesome read!
6 people found this helpful
Amazing look at the implications of Russian/Soviet History18 October 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Excellent book if you are interested in the personality of Russia today using examples in Soviet history. David Satter’s writing is easy to follow, clear and concise. Looking forward to reading more of his books. Kindle edition has errors in text, notably the letter “f” missing and hyphenation of many proper nouns, somewhat distracting.
One person found this helpful