Donald Rayfield

Chilling Tales

It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past


Yale University Press 383pp £25 order from our bookshop

David Satter is one of the minority of historians of Soviet Russia not to be deceived into false optimism by its collapse. His three earlier works were provoked by the gangsterism of Yeltsin’s oligarchs and by the Hitlerian cynicism of Putin, blowing up his own citizens to give himself a pretext for bombing Chechnya to smithereens. This book, its title deliberately inviting a loud shout of ‘No!’, is more vehement than his previous studies of post-Soviet Russia, but just as impeccably argued.

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