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Book reviews for "Muravin,_Victor" sorted by average review score:

The diary of Vikenty Angarov
Published in Unknown Binding by Newsweek Books ()
Author: Victor Muravin
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Unrestrained cruelty - the Russian Disease
Anyone who was puzzled by the Russians' refusing aid from the West for the crew of the Kursk class boat should read 3 books. The first would be any authentic history of Ivan the Terrible (not the nonsense produced under the Soviets), and the second would be Figes "The Russian Revolution: 1890 - 1924."

The third must be this work of fiction. Angarov is a sea captain who is persuaded after the civil war to return from the safety of Harbin to lend his skills to the development of Mother Russia. Through some whimsy, which he never understands, but which is utterly justifiable in the morality both of Ivan and of Communism (they are the same), Angarov begins his true journey in life - through the gulag.

Muravin's account of Angarov's life is stark but understated. Indeed, its very understatement underlines the terror, the hopelessness and the helplessness which consumed, not seconds and not minutes, but a whole lifetime; not for one, or for a few, but for countless millions.

The reader comes away knowing why it is that even the so-called democratic Russian Federation has never prosecuted a single one of those responsible for a terror that existed from Lenin to Gorbachev and why it is that the crew of the Kursk were sacrificed. That reason is lies in the characteristic Russian mindset that has always regarded not only the high interests of the state, but even its "pride" as of more value than the life of a human being.

Ask not what you can do for your country, but what it can do for you - for you are the state's master and it is your servant. Follow JFK's aphorism, accept that you are the state's servant, and you are on the road to Angarov's fate. Don't then complain.

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