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January 02, 2003

Longterm Reading

One of the books I've perused from the library in the recent past was The Great Terror, by Robert Conquest. It's a great book, chock full of detail, and in the 'Reassessment' edition, corrected with lots of new knowledge coming out of the former Soviet vaults. Unfortunately it's also a hefty book, not the sort that you can really read from the library. I told my wife that I was fascinated yet disappointed in it. It's one flaw (from the perspective of one uneducated in the details of Soviet history) is that it dives right into the infighting and casually refers to all the players as if you already know who they all are. As I told Jean, I need a book that leads up to this book, filling in all the details of what came before.

So what does Jean get me for Christmas? Yep. I'm really happy, and looking forward to reading it over a period of several weeks, but first I gotta find that other book, the one that sets the stage. Any recommendations? Maybe Ten Days That Shook the World? Since Conquest is clearly anti-Communist, Reed's pro-Bolshevik book should provide an interesting counterbalance...

Posted by dpwakefield at January 2, 2003 12:12 PM