The Storm

Ilya Ehrenburg – The Storm I have finally finished The Storm, a very good book that took me an unusually long time to get through.  This is a very well-written socialist realist novel, indeed at times it is hard to believe this book ever had a place in the Stalinist cannon.  A good book. This […]

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Volokolamsk Highway

Alexander Bek – Volokolamsk Highway Now here’s a beautiful book.  Originally written in 1944, the story of the the defense of Moscow.  Re-issued in the late 40s or early ‘fifities by the Foreign Language Publishing House.  Designed by A. Livanov.   There aren’t many illustrations within the book, but the two there are are fantastic:

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Soviet Calendar 1944

Here’s the earliest calendar I have.  I have not seen many of theses so I do not know the run, or how many were made.  If they were produced before the war they would certainly be extraordinary documents.  Anyhow, to 1944: A nice way to start things off, even before the Stalin portrait. The colour […]

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Soviet Calendar 1945

Here’s the second wartime calendar.  This one has a very marshal feeling; you’ll see what I mean. Here’s one marshal. The marshals continue.  Zhukov’s chest looks naked compared to the official post-war portrait, covered in metal and ribbon. The civil war heroes, Voroshilov and Budyonny, recast to lead the Soviet Army. A very unusual portrait […]

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Men of the Stalin Breed

Men of the Stalin Breed: True Stories of the Soviet Youth in the Great Patriotic War From 1945, Foreign Language Publishing House.  An unsubtle attempt to stamp Stalin’s name on the sacrifices of the Soviet forces during the Great Patriotic War.  Stalin spent most of the war in the Kremlin threatening people over the phone.  […]

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Marshal Zhukov!

Marshal of the Soviet Union G. Zhukov – Reminiscences and Reflections I & II   Awesome day-glo covers on these memoirs of the most decorated general of the Soviet Union.   The liberator of Stalingrad and the conqueror of Berlin, and apparently quite a tough-ass.  This is the memoir that was ‘edited’ as it was published […]

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Notes of an Aircraft Designer

Notes of an Aircraft Designer – A. Yakovlev A lovely little book, autobiography of Stalin’s favorite in the air force.  He was a Vice-Minister of Aviation Industry during the Great Patriotic War.  His designs were chosen via the tried and true  Stalinist method of denouncing competitors as saboteurs.  Later founded an aircraft design bureau and […]

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Thirty Years of Victory

Thirty Years of Victory – G. Deborin A history of the Red Army from 1975.  The dust jacket is Progress standard, but the cloth cover is just great. Some nice photos inside.  In the original photo on the cover the fellow supporting the flagwaver on the pediment of the Reichstag is wearing two watches [from […]

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Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul – E. Maltsev I’m reading this book right now, about half way through.  It’s a bout a Siberian couple separated by the Great Patriotic War.  He’s a bit of a self-centered doofus, and she’s a motivated labour brigade leader.  By the end I’m sure she’ll have converted him to a more progressive, […]

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White Birch Tree

White Birch Tree – M. Bubennov Another novel, classic Socialist Realism.  Set during the Great Patriotic War, focusing on a young soldier and his partisan wife.  This book deals carefully with the retreat at the beginning of the Nazi invasion, and later focuses in the necessity of patriotic anger as a motivating force in the […]

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