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In a Crooked Mirror

Historian Catherine Merridale concludes her chronicle of the tortuous journey of Vasily Grossman’s novel STALINGRAD to print. Now published in 1953 it is savagely attacked.

Historian Catherine Merridale concludes her chronicle of the tortuous gestation of Vasily Grossman’s novel STALINGRAD to print.
Early 1953. Vasily Grossman’s epic, Tolstoyan, novel of what most Russian’s still call The Great Patriotic War had appeared to general acclaim. At the same time Stalin'se state sponsored anti-Semitic campaign of terror was culminating in the infamous ‘Doctor’s Plot’. Then ‘Comrade Stalin died without Comrade Stalin’s permission’ Millions of Soviet citizens were stunned, distraught.
What could it all mean?
It was then that the most vicious and terrifying attacks on Grossman’s novel began.

Reader: Anton Lesser
Producer: Mark Burman

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14 minutes

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Life and Fate

Life and Fate

Vasily Grossman's sweeping historical tale set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad.