Download A Russian Journal Audiobook

A Russian Journal Audiobook, by John Steinbeck Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: John Steinbeck Narrator: Richard Poe Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2014 ISBN: 9780698159938
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Steinbeck and Capa’s account of their journey through Cold War Russia is a classic piece of reportage and travel writing.

Just after the Iron Curtain fell on Eastern Europe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and acclaimed war photographer Robert Capa ventured into the Soviet Union to report for the New York Herald Tribune. This rare opportunity took the famous travelers not only to Moscow and Stalingrad – now Volgograd – but through the countryside of the Ukraine and the Caucasus. Hailed by the New York Times as "superb" when it first appeared in 1948, A Russian Journal is the distillation of their journey and remains a remarkable memoir and unique historical document.

What they saw and movingly recorded in words and on film was what Steinbeck called "the great other side there … the private life of the Russian people." Unlike other Western reporting about Russia at the time, A Russian Journal is free of ideological obsessions. Rather, Steinbeck and Capa recorded the grim realities of factory workers, government clerks, and peasants, as they emerged from the rubble of World War II—represented here in Capa’s stirring photographs alongside Steinbeck’s masterful prose. Through it all, we are given intimate glimpses of two artists at the height of their powers, answering their need to document human struggle. This edition features an introduction by Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Superb…forthright, simple, and direct.”

    New York Times

  • “This 1948 volume collects the full run of his reports.”

    Library Journal

  • “For a human picture of what life is like in Russia, as reported by a good observer and a perceptive photographer, A Russian Journal will help Americans know the Russians as people like themselves. Steinbeck has the gift of seeing and sharing what he sees. This is a very simple, straightforward book, without political implications. It is a personal experience book, with some of the hardships and problems but with almost nothing of censorship, except as indirectly applied by difficulties sometimes put in the way. They went, in the main, where they wanted to go; saw the things they wanted to see; talked to the people—rather than the mouthpieces of government. They liked the Russians—they ate and drank too much—they saw the ravages of war and were convinced the Russians wanted peace. The text of the book is about double the text that appeared in syndicated columns, but the deletions were for space not policy.”

    Kirkus Reviews (April 16, 1948)

  • “Narrator Richard Poe’s voice blends seamlessly with Steinbeck’s in this account of his travels through Russia…Thanks to Poe’s consistent pace, careful diction, and friendly tone, both longtime Steinbeck fans and new ones will find themselves comfortable with his performance. His subtle emphasis on the more serious aspects of Russian travel nicely balances the humor of certain events, and it might be surprising to some how much humor is to be found in Steinbeck’s travels. The only downside to the audiobook format is the absence of the photographs that appear in the print version, but this is no reflection on Poe’s performance or the value of the audiobook.”


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About the Author

John Steinbeck (1902–1968) remains one of the quintessential writers of American literature. Born in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” He wrote more than twenty-five novels during his lifetime.

About the Narrator

Richard Poe, a professional actor for more than thirty years, has appeared in numerous Broadway shows, including 1776 and M. Butterfly. On television he has had recurring roles on Star Trek and Frasier. His films include Born on the Fourth of July and Presumed Innocent. Poe is a well-known and prolific audiobook performer and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards.