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The Inner Circle. An Inside View of Soviet Union Life Under Stalin


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DSC01949Andrei Honchalovsky and Alexander Lipkov. Newmarket Press, New York 1991. The companion to the Columbia Pictures Feature Film. Illustrated with more than 150 historical photographs from the Kremlin archives. Tapa Blanda, formato medio-grande, 147 Págs. ISBN 1557041067. Estado: Muy Bueno.

From Publishers Weekly

Well-known Soviet director Konchalovsky and screenwriter Lipkov here offer a companion volume to the former’s movie of the same title. “The inner circle” refers to those party officials closest to the Soviet dictator, but the heart of the book deals with Alexander Ganshin, Stalin’s personal film projectionist from 1935 until the dictator’s death in 1953, whose life is fictionalized in the Konchalovsky film. As a book on Stalin, the volume adds little new information and is of marginal interest. But Ganshin’s story, a study of the banality of evil, has much to tell us. For the sake of a job, a better apartment and a certain freedom from fear, the projectionist was willing to serve a man who, for many, epitomized evil. Ganshin turned a blind eye to the brutalities of the regime and even today is annoyed by attempts to disparage his former boss. The book contains many fine archival photographs of Stalin and those around him, but it never transcends its limitations as a movie companion piece. (A final chapter deals wth the film’s production). Its appeal will probably rise or fall with the picture’s popularity.

From School Library Journal

YA– A breezy, gossipy sketch of life in the Soviet Union under Stalin’s rule as seen in part through the eyes of his “official” film projectionist. Lavishly illustrated with 150 black-and-white photographs, this book offers numerous anecdotes–some of them no doubt apocryphal–about the home life of the reclusive dictator and his cronies and a chilling portrait of the paranoid society of Russia in the 1930s, when millions of people simply disappeared. Although intended as a tie-in with Konchalovsky’s new film of the same name, The Inner Circle can easily stand on its own as a fascinating introduction to modern Soviet history and society, and can be used in conjunction with the excellent film for the same purpose.
-Richard Lisker, Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax, VA


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