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Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets

av Svetlana Alexievich

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,6086210,988 (4.37)161
History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A symphonic oral history about the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia, from Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY  LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times The Washington Post The Boston Globe  The Wall Street Journal  NPR Financial Times Kirkus Reviews

When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing a new kind of literary genre, describing her work as a history of emotionsa history of the soul. Alexievichs distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation.
In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what its like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacresbut also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world.
A magnificent tapestry of the sorrows and triumphs of the human spirit woven by a master, Secondhand Time tells the stories that together make up the true history of a nation. Through the voices of those who confided in her, The Nation writes, Alexievich tells us about human nature, about our dreams, our choices, about good and evilin a word, about ourselves.
Praise for Svetlana Alexievich and Secondhand Time
The nonfiction volume that has done the most to deepen the emotional understanding of Russia during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union of late is Svetlana Alexievichs oral history Secondhand Time.David Remnick, The New Yorker.
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» Se även 161 omnämnanden

engelska (43)  spanska (4)  katalanska (3)  franska (3)  tyska (2)  nederländska (2)  finska (1)  bulgariska (1)  danska (1)  italienska (1)  Alla språk (61)
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Wow...... ( )
  jmhdassen | Feb 10, 2024 |
After the fall of the Soviet Union, every Soviet functionary, called sovok in this book, is like a person let out of a jail they didn't want to leave for no reason they can fathom. The world is a total mystery. Not all Russians or any other former member of the Soviet Union identify themselves as sovoks -- almost crude robots of the Soviet system -- but the ones who remember life under the Communist Party, often remember it with the familiarity and pleasant distance of an old auntie.

Svetlana Alexievich has written for me one of the most painful books I have read ever since The Gulag Archipelago. Not only do people continue to suffer under the current Russian regime, but the torturers continue to go unpunished. And the torturers largely seem to be men perpetually tanked on vodka. And corrupt police. And gangs of thugs. And bigots and racists. I really thought that after reading Solzhenitsyn, and Shalamov, and after reading Timothy Snyder's The Bloodlands, and reading Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners," and after Mao and the African Mao-Mao revolt and the horrors of the Belgian Congo under King Leopold, and the conditions of slavery in the new World, I had read the worst that humanity was capable of. Alexievich takes me into even new uncharted territory of sadism.

Husbands continue to mercilessly beat their wives. Some have come back from the gruesome Chechin wars, some merely out of disappointment for their failure and their poverty.

I am not surprised that many Russians feel tricked by Gorbachev's promise of freedom under perestroika, or Yeltsin. It was never going to be easy, and everybody would have to make it work. But the bitterness I read in these pages is beyond discouraging. It is downright depressing.

The feeling I am left with after reading these catalogued interviews is that the biggest questions a Russian adult has to deal with these days is: "Do I stay or do I go?" Nobody is uncategorically happy in this environment and many millions are downright unhappy.

Like many European metropolises, Moscow is awash with migrant workers with little power over their employers and targets of resentment from locals who see the "blacks" as stealing work from Russians. The poor and dispossessed are attracted to the city and the targets of organized crime.

People hate the rich and even more the super rich.

Sound familiar?

In many respects economic inequality is the same board game whether in the U.S., Canada, France, or Russia. The seeds of racism and religious intolerance are the same across the globe. So too are the seeds of violence. In Russia, like America, guns are pretty easily come by.

This book has the frankness of Dostoevsky and much of the same cynicism and darkness. I feel closer to evil in this book than almost any other book I have ever read. In this way does it transcend journalism to art.

It has not been the best book to read on my summer vacation. But it has been a very necessary read for our times. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
at 15% got the gist of it
  postsign | Dec 28, 2023 |
Aside from a brief introduction, Alexievich presents this oral history of the end of the Soviet Union with no authorial commentary. She lets her interviewees speak for themselves, and they are all impressively eloquent. They tell their life stories, about love and family, joy and pain, war and protest, with a focus on what it was like to live in the Soviet Union, what they did and did not like about the USSR, and what it was like to live through the end of the USSR, the adoption of democracy and capitalism, and the current slide back into authoritarianism.

There are several themes that resonate throughout these stories: Russians felt betrayed by the false promises of democracy and capitalism. Many of them spoke wistfully about the years when they did not have material abundance, but they had spiritual and intellectual riches of feeling like they were a part of a major milestone of human society. Many people speak of how books, poetry, and intellectual conversations provided more joy and sustenance than the material goods brought by capitalism. The end of communism came with a promise of freedom, but the interviewees found that capitalism took away their freedom: they became slaves to money.

By letting people from all walks of life speak for themselves, Alexievich has created a rich portrait of humanity: her subjects are complex, flawed, and ultimately sympathetic. ( )
  Gwendydd | Nov 23, 2023 |
An excellent collection of reminiscences from those who lived through the USSR. And it’s from some who abhored it, and some who adored it. ( )
  br77rino | Jul 24, 2023 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (95 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Svetlana Alexievichprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Alexandrova, AngelinaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Benech, SophieÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Braat, Jan RobertÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Braungardt, Ganna-MariaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Braungardt, Ganna-MariaÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Cicognini, NadiaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Coldefy-Faucard, AnneTraductionmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Czech, JerzyÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ferrer, JorgeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Foldøy, DagfinnÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kahn, MichèleÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Lindsten Öberg, KajsaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Marie, JorjeanaBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Mateo, FerranEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rapetti, SergioÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rebón, MartaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Shayevich, BelaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Shaykewich, BelaTranslator.medförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Victim and executioner are equally ignoble; the lesson of the camps is brotherhood in abjection.

David Rousset, The Days of Our Death
In any event, we must remember that it's not the blinded wrongdoers who are primarily responsible for the triumph of evil in the world, but the spiritually sighted servants of the good.

Fyodor Stepun, Foregone and Gone Forever
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We're paying our respects to the Soviet Era. (Remarks From an Accomplice)
-What have I learned?
What's there to remember? (Notes From an Everywoman)
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History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A symphonic oral history about the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia, from Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY  LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times The Washington Post The Boston Globe  The Wall Street Journal  NPR Financial Times Kirkus Reviews

When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing a new kind of literary genre, describing her work as a history of emotionsa history of the soul. Alexievichs distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation.
In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what its like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacresbut also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world.
A magnificent tapestry of the sorrows and triumphs of the human spirit woven by a master, Secondhand Time tells the stories that together make up the true history of a nation. Through the voices of those who confided in her, The Nation writes, Alexievich tells us about human nature, about our dreams, our choices, about good and evilin a word, about ourselves.
Praise for Svetlana Alexievich and Secondhand Time
The nonfiction volume that has done the most to deepen the emotional understanding of Russia during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union of late is Svetlana Alexievichs oral history Secondhand Time.David Remnick, The New Yorker.

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