Stalin's Daughter

Stalin's Daughter

The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Book - 2015
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Award-winning author Rosemary Sullivan returns with a revelatory biography of Svetlana Alliluyeva, a woman fated to live in the shadow of her father, notorious Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Born in 1926, Svetlana Alliluyeva spent her youth inside the Kremlin as her father's power soared. Eighty-five years later, she died alone and penniless in rural Wisconsin. Revealed here for the first time, the many lives of Josef Stalin's daughter form a riveting portrait of a woman who fled halfway around the world to escape her birthright.

Protected from the mass starvation and murder her father inflicted upon Russian citizens, Svetlana was not immune to tragedy. She lost her mother to suicide, and her father's merciless purges claimed relatives and her lover (who was exiled to Siberia).

After her father's death, Svetlana shocked the world by defecting to the United States at the height of the Cold War--leaving behind two children. There, she found only more heartbreak. She married Wesley Peters, a member of Frank Lloyd Wright's inner circle, and they had a child. But the marriage disintegrated. No matter how much distance she put between her past and her present, she could not undo the emotional and psychological damage her father had wrought.

With access to FBI, CIA and Russian state archives, as well as with the close cooperation of Svetlana's daughter, Sullivan has created a masterful biography that is epic in scope, yet narrated with remarkable intimacy. In this book, Sullivan cements her status as the pre-eminent literary biographer in Canada.

Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : HarperCollinsPublishersLtd., c2015.
Edition: 1st Canadian ed.
ISBN: 9781443414432
Branch Call Number: 947.0842 SUL
Characteristics: xviii, 741 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.


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Aug 05, 2017

this is a (true) weird story i was not aware of. i knew of stalin the psychopath - and this book touches on that - but i think that is the main story and might be better thing to read about. poor svetlana - defected back and forth from ussr, to usa to ussr to usa. really. so you know what you are dealing with. worth reading for those interested in fairly recent ussr/usa history.

May 03, 2017

I loved this book right from the beginning. It's well researched and very readable. It may look long but the details of her life make it well worth it. It is a poor little rich girl story but her privileged upbringing left her ill prepared for life, and emotionally damaged to boot.

Feb 14, 2017

Very interesting, informative and well researched. Don't be put off by the 700+ pages. It's actually an easy read; the last 100 pages are references and an index.

Because of the way she led her life, the book also includes the many people who came and went from her life. It can be a bit dizzying to keep track of everyone. But there is a list of main characters near the end of the book.

I couldn't put the book down. She lived a head spinning life in trying to disassociate herself from her father and the Soviet era, and try to create a life of her own. But her own weaknesses kept her living her entire life on the edge - in "search for love in the heart of so much darkness".

athompson10 Nov 20, 2016

Exhaustively researched, this is the life of Stalin's only daughter, who lived through her father's reign of terror and oppression, then defected to the West. Sadly her life in the West was freer but not much happier than her life in the Soviet Union. Svetlana Alliluyeva emerges as a tempestuous, intelligent, troubled woman who careened from lover to lover and place to place, seeking happiness and security but finding neither.

Oct 16, 2016

Well researched, long story telling the life of Svetlana.....was aware of some of her history, but this gave me the whole story, and with many surprises. She often portrayed herself as someone who really did not know what she really wanted. Many sad episodes in her life. Made wrong choices in men!! Recommend, and stick with it.

Sep 10, 2016

Sad but interesting book. Cannot imagine what it would be like to be the daughter of a man like that. She was a difficult but interesting person who tried hard to make her own mark in life.

quagga Jul 08, 2016

As Antennas Sileika said on CBC's The Next Chapter, "What a train wreck of a life!" I found Svetlana's impulsive grand gestures sometimes endearing and sometimes I lost patience. Her life was not ordinary and her main wish was apparently a simple one: to be loved.

May 24, 2016

This is a fantastic read! I felt that I really got to know Svetlana, or Lana as she called herself in later life. Rosemary Sullivan puts the story in context in such a way that this book is enjoyable as well as educational.

Mar 28, 2016

I could not put this book down. An incredible amount of research went into creating an easy to read narrative. The story was fresh and unpredictable as I had no idea that Stalin had a daughter and little information has ever trickled out of Russia over the past 100 years. The story shows what becomes of a mind "nurtured" under a regime of fear and complete state control.

Nov 19, 2015

The book, as huge as it is, is definitely worth reading. R. Sullivan quotes extensively from various sources including Allilueva's books. But the funny thing is that , when I looked up in the library's catalogue, I didn't find them. Allilueva's biography is there, but her books are not.

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Jun 02, 2015

lisatofts thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99


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