Download Stalin’s Scribe: Literature, Ambition, and Survival; The Life of Mikhail Sholokhov Audiobook

Stalin’s Scribe: Literature, Ambition, and Survival;  The Life of Mikhail Sholokhov Audiobook, by Brian J. Boeck Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Brian J. Boeck Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2019 ISBN: 9781982684983
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A masterful and definitive biography of one of the most misunderstood and controversial writers in Russian literature

Mikhail Sholokhov is arguably one of the most contentious recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature. As a young man, Sholokhov’s epic novel, Quiet Don, became an unprecedented overnight success.

Stalin’s Scribe is the first biography of a man who was once one of the Soviet Union’s most prominent political figures. Thanks to the opening of Russia’s archives, Brian Boeck discovers that Sholokhov’s official Soviet biography is actually a tangled web of legends, half-truths, and contradictions. Boeck examines the complex connection between an author and a dictator, revealing how a Stalinist courtier became an ideological acrobat and consummate politician in order to stay in favor and remain relevant after the dictator’s death.

Stalin’s Scribe is remarkable biography that both reinforces and clashes with our understanding of the Soviet system. It reveals a Sholokhov who is bold, uncompromising, and sympathetic―and reconciles him with the vindictive and mean-spirited man described in so many accounts of late Soviet history.

Shockingly, at the height of the terror, which claimed over a million lives, Sholokhov became a member of the most minuscule subset of the Soviet Union’s population―the handful of individuals whom Stalin personally intervened to save.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Excellent. Boeck has written more than a biography of a single writer; he also grants us unexpected insights into the minds of two of the most important Soviet leaders.”

    Financial Times

  • “A deeply engaging take on an important literary figure.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A provocative and sympathetic new biography. No small achievement.”

    Washington Post

  • “Mr. Boeck observes insightfully that faking one’s accomplishments and constructing a false identity were hardly offenses unique to Sholokhov.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Boeck displays his wide range of knowledge of the Soviet Union and delivers an insightful, gripping, squirm-inducing portrait of a great author who loyally served his government―perhaps too loyally.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An important and stimulating book.”

    Russian Review

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About the Author

Brian J. Boeck holds a PhD in Russian history from Harvard University and has taught Russian and Soviet history for over a decade at DePaul University. He is the author of Imperial Boundaries and lives in Chicago.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014, and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.