Read Former People: The Destruction of the Russian Aristocracy by Douglas Smith Free Online
Book Title: Former People: The Destruction of the Russian Aristocracy|
The author of the book: Douglas Smith
Date of issue: October 25th 2012
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 624 KB
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Epic in scope, intimate in detail, heartbreaking in its human drama, White Bone is the first book to recount the history of the nobility caught up the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin’s Russia. It is a book filled with chilling tales of looted palaces, burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding bands of thugs and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution. It is the story of how a centuries’-old elite famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the Tsar and Empire, its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia. Drawing on the private archives of two great families – the Sheremetovs and the Golitsyns – White Bone is also a story of survival and accommodation, of how many of the tsarist ruling class, so-called “former people” and “class enemies,” abandoned, displaced, and repressed, overcame the psychic wounds inflicted by the loss of their world and struggled to find a place for themselves and their families in the new, hostile world of the Soviet Union. It reveals how even at the darkest depths of the terror, daily life went on—men and women fell in love, children were born and educated, friends gathered, simple pleasures were cherished. Ultimately, White Bone is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
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Read information about the authorDouglas Smith is an awarding-winning historian and translator and the author of four books on Russia. He studied German and Russian at the University of Vermont and has a doctorate in history from UCLA.
Over the past twenty-five years Smith has made many trips to Russia. In the 1980s, he was a Russian-speaking guide on the U. S. State Department’s exhibition “Information USA” that traveled throughout the USSR. He has worked as a Soviet affairs analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany specializing in Russian nationalism and served as an interpreter for late President Reagan.
Smith has taught and lectured widely in the United States, Britain, and Europe and has appeared in documentaries for A&E and National Geographic. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including a Fulbright scholarship and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center.
His latest book, Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy, was published in 2012 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the U.S. and Macmillan in the U.K. Read an interview with Douglas Smith about Former People and listen to his interview on KUOW Radio.
Douglas Smith is currently writing a biography of Grigory Rasputin to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2016.