From 1922 to 1991, the Soviet Union was the world’s largest country, spanning eleven time zones and encompassing most Asia and Europe. The Soviet Union – and the countries that followed and succeeded it – have long been praised for their writing. Russian writers such as Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Pushkin, and Tolstoy are essential to any discussion of literary history and accomplishment. Women’s voices have happily been increasingly prominent in recent years, with both Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk winning Nobel Prizes. Many international authors have great knowledge of Soviet Union history, but many ‘local’ authors definitely have lived experiences that should be recognized. Unfortunately, despite the fact that former Soviet countries have a diverse ethnic population, these perspectives have yet to be heard in mainstream publications, particularly in translation.
The Soviet Union is a country that is rich in heritage and history. This is why the story of the soviet union is still fascinating to every historian out there. The story of how the Soviet Union was formed into one of the biggest and most powerful nations in the world from its untimely downfall is the main theme of most of these books. We have put together the top 10 best books about the Soviet Union.
A gorgeously mesmerizing story about a man who is compelled to live the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility. A Bolshevik tribunal declared Count Alexander Rostov an unapologetic aristocrat in 1922, and he is condemned to house detention in the Metropol, a luxury hotel from across the road from the Kremlin. Rostov, an irrepressible man of humor and intellect, has never labored a day in his life and is now forced to reside in an attic room while some of Russia’s most turbulent decades occur outside the hotel’s doors. Surprisingly, his decreased circumstances allow him to enter a far bigger universe of emotional exploration. This solitary novel casts a spell as it refers to the count’s endeavor to develop a broader idea of what it means to be a man of reason. Overflowing with humor, a sparkling group of characters, and one wonderfully made scene after another, this singular book hits the target as it relates the count’s endeavor to develop a broader understanding of what it means to be a man of intent.
In the Soviet Union in the mid-twentieth century, life is difficult, especially for a factory worker who becomes an absent parent. Antonina, on the other hand, is fortunate enough to be assigned a room in a common apartment, which she and her little daughter share with three elderly women. Glikeria is a former serf’s daughter. Ariadna is French-speaking and hails from a rich family. Yevdokia is illiterate and unforgiving. All of them have lost their families, are extremely traditional, and have taken on the role of “grannies” to Suzanna. They call her Sofia in secret. They also surreptitiously convey to her the narrative of her country as they have witnessed it: the Revolution, the early years of the Soviet Union, the World War II embargo, and privation. The small girl answers by painting lovely pictures, but she is deafeningly silent. If the authorities discover her whereabouts, she will be taken from her house and placed in a mental facility. When Antonina becomes critically ill, the grannies face the prospect of losing the little daughter they adore unless a stepfather can be identified before it’s too late. They’ll need divine intervention for that. Numerous literary researches focusing on the novel’s substance have been done on a variety of issues.
Lina, a fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl, leads a normal life until Soviet officers assault her home and separate her family. Lina, her mother, and her baby brother are torn from their father and pushed into a crowded train to a Siberian labor camp, where they must battle for their survival. Lina takes refuge in her painting, which she uses to record the incidents. She risks everything by embedding clues to their whereabouts in her drawings and discreetly passing them along in the hopes that her pictures will find their way to her father’s jail camp. Will Lina and her family’s courage, love, and faith be enough to keep them alive?
Comrade Tulayev, a high-ranking government employee, is shot dead in the street on a frigid Moscow night, and the hunt for the assassin starts. The search leads all over the world in this spectacular view of the Soviet Great Terror, trapping a whole series of defendants whose only link is their honesty, least of the murder of which they are accused. But The Case of Comrade Tulayev, without a doubt the best work of literature ever published about the Stalinist expulsions, is more than merely a tale of a totalitarian regime. It is also a classic twentieth-century narrative of risk, excitement, and surprising nobility, characterized by the author’s deep compassion and generous spirit, the great anarchist and exile Victor Serge.
Since he was six years old, Sasha Zaichik has learned the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers: the Young Pioneer is dedicated to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.
A Young Pioneer is a trustworthy comrade who always acts in accordance with his or her conscience. A Young Pioneer has the right to point out flaws.
But now, when it’s time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has been looking forward to for so long, everything appears to be going wrong. With a snowball, he smashes a classmate’s glasses. In the school corridor, he accidentally destroys a statue of Stalin. Worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was just imprisoned the night before.
Eugene Yelchin’s touching narrative about a ten-year-old boy’s life being turned upside down is masterful in its minimalism, powerful in its message, and tragic in its realism.
Olga Grushin has drawn compared to everyone from Gogol to Nabokov for her remarkable literary debut. It uncovers, repopulates the mentality of Anatoly Sukhanov, who traded the troubled life of a clandestine artist for the advantages of a Soviet apparatchik many years previously. His idyllic existence, however, is suddenly unraveling at the age of 56. His long-forgotten dreams come back to torment him. New political alliances threaten to destabilize him. The Dream Life of Sukhanov is a darkly hilarious, maniacally entertaining tale that seamlessly jumps from the real to the strange and from luxury to dread.
From great historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, this revelatory book reveals how Stalin became Stalin, analyzing his mysterious journey from mediocrity to prominence. Young Stalin is dazzling prehistory of the USSR, a record of the Revolution, and personal biography, based on one decade of research. It is a complement to the prize-winning Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. Montefiore is the story of a charismatic, darkly troubled youngster who was born into poverty and was traumatized by his childhood but gifted with exceptional abilities. He was praised as a romantic poet and was educated as a priest, but his actual calling was as a violent revolutionary. His various love relationships, his convoluted relationship with the Tsarist secret police, and how he became the ruthless politician who molded the Soviet Empire in his own brutal image are all detailed here. Young Stalin is necessary reading for anybody fascinated with Russian history, according to The New York Times, and is characterized as “a painstakingly researched, authoritative biography.”
Svetlana Alexievich has served as the twentieth century’s remembrance and morality for more than three decades. The Swedish Academy acknowledged her innovation of “a new form of literary genre” in awarding her the Nobel Prize, defining her work as “a chronicle of feelings… a history of the spirit.”Alexievich explores the experiences of Soviet women fighting on the front lines, at home, and in conquered territories in The Unwomanly Face of War. Nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine gunners, and snipers were among the more than a million women who served. They fought alongside men, yet their sacrifices and sufferings were disregarded after the triumph.
The Unwomanly Face of War is a compelling and poignant account of the primary battle of the twentieth century, a vivid depiction of the human aspect of war, interpreted by the acclaimed Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Elena’s country is no longer the regal Russia of literature or the tsars but rather a nation fighting for power and honor. Elena finds her heart in the intricacy of the English language since she was born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders—but in the Soviet Union of the 1960s, such a devotion touches on the subversive. Elena is ruled by the state in the same way that she is by her mother, a perfect reflection of her ancestral homeland: domineering, possessive, and difficult to flee. In the struggle between a strong-willed daughter and her dictatorial mother, the daughter must ultimately break free and flee to survive.
Lee’s work is a travelogue inspired by her time in Russia with her husband on a Harvard exchange program in the 1970s. Lee wanders through food lines and black market fashion, seeing the distinction between public and private life. It was widely praised when it was first released in the 1980s, and it is today considered a worthwhile time capsule.