Twenty Letters to a Friend

Twenty Letters to a Friend In this riveting New York Times bestselling memoir first published by Harper in Svetlana Alliluyeva subject of Rosemary Sullivan s critically acclaimed biography Stalin s Daughter describes t

  • Title: Twenty Letters to a Friend
  • Author: Svetlana Alliluyeva
  • ISBN: 9780060100995
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this riveting, New York Times bestselling memoir first published by Harper in 1967 Svetlana Alliluyeva, subject of Rosemary Sullivan s critically acclaimed biography, Stalin s Daughter, describes the surreal experience of growing up in the Kremlin in the shadow of her father, Joseph Stalin.Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva, later known as Lana Peters, was the youngest childIn this riveting, New York Times bestselling memoir first published by Harper in 1967 Svetlana Alliluyeva, subject of Rosemary Sullivan s critically acclaimed biography, Stalin s Daughter, describes the surreal experience of growing up in the Kremlin in the shadow of her father, Joseph Stalin.Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva, later known as Lana Peters, was the youngest child and only daughter of Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, his second wife In 1967, she fled the Soviet Union for India, where she approached the U.S Embassy for asylum Once there, she showed her CIA handler something remarkable a personal memoir about growing up inside the Kremlin that she d written in 1963 The Indian Ambassador to the USSR, whom she d befriended, had smuggled the manuscript out of the Soviet Union the previous year and returned it to her as soon as she arrived in India.Structured as a series of letters to a friend Svetlana refused to identify him, but we now know it was her close friend, Fyodor Volkenstein this astounding memoir exposes the dark human heart of the Kremlin After opening with Stalin s death, Svetlana returns to her childhood Each letter adds a new strand to her remarkable story some are wistful romanticized recollections of her early years and her family while others are desperate exorcisms of the tragedies that plagued her, such as her mother s suicide and her father s increasing cruelty It is also in some ways a love letter to Russia, with its ancient heritage and spectacularly varied geography.Candid, surprising, and utterly compelling, Twenty Letters to a Friend offers one of the most revealing portraits of life inside Stalin s inner circle, and of the notorious dictator himself.

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    About "Svetlana Alliluyeva"

    1. Svetlana Alliluyeva

      Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva Russian , Georgian 28 February 1926 22 November 2011 , later known as Lana Peters Georgian , was the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin s second wife In 1967, she caused an international furor when she defected and became a naturalized citizen of the United States until 1984 when she returned to the Soviet Union and had her Soviet citizenship returned She later went back to the United States and also spent time in the United Kingdom At the time of her death she was the last surviving child of Stalin from

    246 thoughts on “Twenty Letters to a Friend”

    1. An amazing memoir published in 1967 by the daughter of Joseph Stalin. Beautifully written, Svetlana Alliluyeva reveals how she grew up as a child suspecting, and later as an adult confirming, her father had commited horrible atrocities. Stalin's murderous impulses struck close to home leading to the disappearance of Alliluyeva's beloved relatives and and the suicide of her mother. Though she was estranged from Stalin at the end of his life, she manages to convey through this painful personal exa [...]


    2. Fascinating insight into the family of one of the 20th century's strongmen. While there is no doubt that Stalin's rule was one of hardship for many Russians, this book shows another side of him. His daughter doesn't sugarcoat it; she acknowledges his temper and paranoia, but you get the feeling that after his wife's suicide that he was never quite the same. This book also gives the reader an insight into the machinations of the Party, where men fell over - and condemned - each other in their att [...]


    3. From BBC Radio 3 Extra:Writing as if to a close friend, Josef Stalin's daughter recalls her extraordinary life as an eyewitness to history, beginning with the searing memory of her father's final hours, and the turmoil provoked by his terrible death


    4. Beautifully written glimpse into Stalin's daughter's life, from before the Revolution (as told to Svetlana by her older family members) to 1963. The 20 letters are basically her memoirs up until that point in her life, only a few years before she defected to the US. The stories offer very unique personal insights into Stalin's character as a "regular guy" and what it was like for the author to grow up as his daughter. Stalin is one of the main figures, but much of the book is devoted to Svetlana [...]


    5. I picked up this memoir again after reading Sullivan's book: Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva|22638321] The two deserve to be read together. Very rewarding to view the family tree and photographs that Sullivan's book contains and compare them to Svetlana's letters. Fascinating.My copy of this book came from my parents' shelves. It was a German translation, published in 1967 and read by various aunts and uncles who were all victims of Stalin in one w [...]


    6. I started reading this feeling sure I'd be dissatisfied by it, but I also wanted to have read it and found out what she said. It was pretty much as disappointing as I expected, as a memoir by Stalin's daughter, but it was enlightening in other ways. What stood out to me (especially when she was describing her 'nurse,' who apparently went seamlessly from being a servant for the nobility to being a servant for the Communist upper class, and spent a lifetime nursing Svetlana while her mother did al [...]


    7. The daughter of Josef Stalin opens this book with a description of the day he died in their home. A sorrowful account spanning 3 decades of the consequences of being the daughter of a historical figure who is also a tyranical totalitarian. Her method of telling the story through letters to an anonymous friend(the reader) added to my enjoyment of it


    8. Så fascinerande att läsa. Konstigt att det som kan kännas som ett grått och obetydligt liv för någon, kan vara så intressant för andra. Försöker hon rentvå Stalin genom att lägga skulden på Beria? Jag tänker att det inte funkar så. Bägge har sitt ansvar, och Stalin har det översta på grund av sin position. Att en dotter reflekterar runt hur hennes pappa var och tänkte, gör ju bara att en får ett till perspektiv på människan bakom handlingarna. Det tror jag bara är bra, oc [...]



    9. "Twenty Letters to a Friend", is an outpouring of Svetlana Alliluyeva's deepest feelings and memories before her defection in 1967. She recounts the happiness and tragedies in the first half of her life, much as a woman would do if writing a letter or speaking to a close friend. She shares fond, warm memories of her childhood; people who loved her and treated her kindly. Even her father, Josef Stalin, seems to have had a moderate degree of tenderness toward his only daughter. Every daughter want [...]


    10. 'Svetlana's mother shot herself and Stalin never understood why.'Abridged by Eileen Horne. Writing as if to a close friend, Josef Stalin's daughter recalls her extraordinary life as an eyewitness to history, beginning with the searing memory of her father's final hours, and the turmoil provoked by his terrible death Read by Stella Gonet Producer: Clive Brill A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4."I kees you"


    11. Overall a fascinating look into the lives of the family surrounding Stalin, as well as providing unique insights into Stalin himself; insights which at times are contrary to the popular conception of him, while not covering up his flaws either. The author's own life seemed to mimic that of her father: as the years go by an increasing isolation from the reality of everyday life that most people experience. After his death, things would change in both Svetlana's life as well as in her brother's li [...]



    12. Great book. Inside the personal life of dictator Joseph Stalin, viewed by someone who neither hated nor really loved him.





    13. I think I first heard of this book while reading one of Bob Hope's books. I wish I wrote down why he mentioned it. Since WWII is a big interest of mine I added this book to my "to read" list. Talk about shock when I found this book at a book sale at my local library. I heard Twilight Zone music playing in my head. This was quite an amazing story. She held nothing back. Stalin was a complex man. Why are the men in power such lunatics I felt bad for her mother and her brother and countless family [...]


    14. 3.5 ⭐️ s. What an interesting look at Stalin and the atrocities he committed. Frequently we read about these giants in history but forget that they were someone's husband, son, father. Alliluyeva doesn't apologize for her fathers behavior but instead tries to understand it. When and why did he change from the "little papa" from her your into the Jospeh Stalin we all know? Was it her mothers suicide? Was it the people around him melding him? Alliluyeva wonders this too, but first and foremost [...]


    15. ładnie napisane wspomnienia o Stalinie, a także o kręgu jego najbliższych. momentami nieco sentymentalne, innym razem naiwne politycznie (głównie tam, gdzie Alliłujewa pisze o Berii jako przyczynie wszelkiego zła), ale momentami bardzo piękne i wzruszające, jak w ostatnim liście poświęconym niani Aleksandrze Byczkowej. warto uzupełnić tekst lekturą biografii pióra Rosemary Sullivan



    16. I learnt the existence of this book during a course in college on 20th century dictatorship. I remember one unfortunate classmate asking the professor if Stalin waged the great terror in order to avenge for his dear Kirov. The professor, pissed off by such a hypothesis because every reading material in the course would tell you otherwise, cc-ed everyone in his class his response and emphasized how important it is to do the readings for the course. It was a polite public humiliation.This is a not [...]


    17. I have to admit that among the reasons I read this book, I cannot rule out "morbid curiosity" as I rarely read memoirs. I found an elegantly, warm and touching account of life within the elite of one of the most brutal regimes in the 20th century. The most striking aspect of Stalin and his children's life is the loneliness. His paranoia and need for totalitarianism prevented close human relations within the family. A legacy that I understand followed Svetlana through life. A bit dated (I had to [...]


    18. I found this memoir by Josef Stalin's daughter interesting from a psychological perspective. I've always found it puzzling how tyrannical dictators can go out every day and commit horrendous acts of violence against their citizens and then go home and play with the baby on the carpet like Father Knows Best. Svetlana gives a view of what it was like to live with Stalin, although the parenting styles of the class and time were pretty much hands off. She had a nurse and a nanny and was intermittenl [...]


    19. "You're probably worn out by now, my friend, with the countless deaths I've been telling you about." Yes!"It was as though my father were at the center of a black circle and anyone who ventured inside vanished or perished or was destroyed in one way or another."It's hard for anyone to come to terms with their parent being a bad person, even more so when one of those parents is Stalin. Nevertheless, his daughter gives him the benefit of the doubt and generally blames his advisors on all his destr [...]


    20. It's a weird book, historically it's priceless but it's not something you'd read for entertainment. You will see Stalin from quite a shocking side - that person could love apparently and his closest friends, his children's nurses teachers guards etc all these people were surprisingly dedicated to him and loved him very much. The scene of Stalin's death described in such a way I got goose skin and I consider it the best part of the book. Read the book if you are interested in what is going inside [...]


    21. Книга дочери Сталина «20 писем к другу» в жанре мемуаров раскрывает Сталина помимо всех других его известных образов ещё и как семьянина, как личность, и конечно же каким он был отцом для Светланы, других своих детей, как относился к жене, родственникам и сотоварищей по парт [...]


    22. A very thought provoking book and given it's very heavy topic quite short so the reader doesn't getnlostbor bored.I have a fascination of Russia and I have learned things and added to my list of other books tobread.The most fascinating thing about this book is Svetka's divided views, she knows what her father did was wrong but she also sees the man who loved her and whom she loved. She takes the reader on her journey of trying to understand why Stalin did what he did and itvdoes seem a fairly ba [...]


    23. Interesting positive view of growing up as the daughter of Josef Stalin. Also provides an interesting, but not new, perspective of life in the Soviet Union and a good perspective on growing up in the thirties and forties. Clea bought this a her Thrift Store based solely on the fact that it was Russian. The dust jacket was missing so it was purely a blind purchase. Svetlana Alliluyeva, it turns out, was Stalin's illegitimate daughter. This book was included in the bibliography of From the Yarosla [...]


    24. I picked this book up at a yard sale a couple of years ago not having a clue that Svetlana Alliluyeva was Stalin's daughter. I thought the story was fascinating, even though the writing at times was pretty dry. Her story is told as if in a letter to a friend. Before this book, I would never had thought about whether Stalin had kids or how they grew up. I can't even imagine this woman's life, she wins the contest at strictest dad on earth. If he doesn't like your friends he has them killed. Or se [...]


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