Book Reviews

A Writer at War

By January 17, 2006 No Comments

Another unusual contribution to military and social history comes from the editing work of Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova: A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-45. (Alfred A. Knopf, Toronto, 2005). Grossman was an extraordinary man – and extraordinarily lucky. He was a Soviet Jewish journalist who wrote candidly from the front-lines in the Second World War, who wasn’t a party member, never praised Stalin in print… and narrowly escaped encirclement on several occasions during 1941 (his shot-up truck testified to a number of close encounters, he also spent months inside Stalingrad during the battle). His columns in the Soviet Red Army Newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda were extremely popular during the war and reflect a humanity and decency that the brutality and horror of Stalin’s rule and the war with Hitler never quite managed to crush. Grossman is a man to admire.