Vasi­ly Gross­man and the Sovi­et Century

Alexan­dra Popoff

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

The defin­i­tive biog­ra­phy of Sovi­et Jew­ish dis­si­dent writer Vasi­ly Grossman.
If Vasi­ly Grossman’s 1961 mas­ter­piece, Life and Fate, had been pub­lished dur­ing his life­time, it would have reached the world togeth­er with Pasternak’s Doc­tor Zhiva­go and before Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag. But Life and Fate was seized by the KGB. When it emerged posthu­mous­ly, decades lat­er, it was rec­og­nized as the War and Peace of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. Always at the epi­cen­ter of events, Gross­man (1905 – 1964) was among the first to describe the Holo­caust and the Ukrain­ian famine. His 1944 arti­cle The Hell of Tre­blin­ka” became evi­dence at Nurem­berg. Grossman’s pow­er­ful anti-total­i­tar­i­an works liken the Nazis’ crimes against human­i­ty with those of Stal­in. His com­pas­sion­ate prose has the ever­last­ing qual­i­ty of great art. Because Grossman’s major works appeared after much delay we are only now able to exam­ine them prop­er­ly. Alexan­dra Popoff’s author­i­ta­tive biog­ra­phy illu­mi­nates Grossman’s life and legacy.

Discussion Questions