Download Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva Audiobook

Stalins Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva Audiobook, by Rosemary Sullivan Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Rosemary Sullivan Narrator: Karen Cass Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2015 ISBN: 9780062417596
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The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with a painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators—her father, Josef Stalin.

Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father.

As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. But although she was never a part of her father’s regime, she could not escape his legacy. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty in Wisconsin.

With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life in a masterful account of unprecedented intimacy. Epic in scope, it’s a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without ever losing sight of her powerfully human story, in the process opening a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate us.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A true story, thrillingly told in this fast-paced, fascinating biography.”

    Cokie Roberts, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Compassionate and compelling, Sullivan sensitively delivers the intimate, tragic life story of a woman who was Stalin’s only daughter in all its strangeness…This is not a political story but a quest for love in the heart of darkness.”

    Simon Sebag Montefiore, New York Times bestselling author

  • “[A] magisterial biography.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Alliluyeva herself is proved…a fascinating person not simply because of her name but because she was a willful, intelligent, passionate woman who resisted being gawked at as a freak of history: the monster’s pretty daughter.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Riveting…Throughout, Sullivan treats the wealth of facts she has uncovered with a sensitive, compassionate touch…A nuanced story that, while invariably sympathetic, nonetheless allows readers the freedom of their own interpretations.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[An] extraordinary book…Rosemary Sullivan possesses the sensitivity necessary to unlock a beguiling and complex character worthy of admiration, not ridicule…Superb.”

    Washington Post

  • “Sullivan does a nice job of conveying her subject’s point of view without accepting it as the last word.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Sullivan takes [listeners] on a head-spinning journey as Alliluyeva attempts to escape her father’s shadow without ever fully comprehending the man who cast it.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Sullivan draws on previously secret documents and interviews with Svetlana’s American daughter, her friends, and the CIA ‘handler’ who escorted her to the US for riveting accounts of her complicated life, inside and outside of Russia…[A] portrait of a woman tortured by the secrets, lies, and intrigues.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A biography of haunting fascination…The author manages suspense and intrigue at every turn.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Insightful and thoroughly researched…[An] excellent and engrossing biography.”

    Library Journal

  • “Karen Cass narrates with skill, clarity, and verve…Cass’ lively British accent makes the story less a litany of danger and terror and more a story of a woman who slowly but surely learns the truth and has to carry it with her for the rest of her life.”


  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Telegraph (London) Best Books of 2015
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015 for Nonfiction
  • A Washington Post Notable Book of 2015
  • A 2016 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography Shortlist Selection

Listener Reviews

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  • 4.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 5 AnaKCKapp | 1/12/2017

    " This was a book that I read for a book club. I normally do not read biographies nor choose books of this length because of time. BUT I found this book VERY interesting. There are many Russian names and many details and not to mention the length of the book...that having to listen to the book was great! Nice look into history as well. A very nice surprise, overall is think this was the reaction of the book club as a whole. "

About the Author

Rosemary Sullivan is the bestselling author of Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession and The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out. Her biography of Gwendolyn MacEwen, Shadow Maker, won the Governor General’s Literary Award for nonfiction. A poet and a professor of English at the University of Toronto, Rosemary lives in Toronto with her husband.

About the Narrator

Karen Cass is a voice artist and AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator of more than thirty audiobooks.