Review of "My life in Stalinist Russia" by Mary Leder.

Essay by swavsfanUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2005

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Mary Leder's novel, My Life In Stalinist Russia is a very interesting tale of a woman who traveled from the United States into the Soviet Union and then back. Leder is very optimistic when she ventured into the communist country. She does a fantastic job of portraying what life is like for a normal everyday working person in the Soviet Union. Leder's journey consisted of trying to get out of the Soviet Union, but her application for departure kept being denied. Once she finally was able to leave the country, in 1965, her husband and child were already dead. This novel features some interesting points by Leder. From the outside looking in, it appears that she is a very naive young lady who did not understand just what was really going on in the country.

In comparison to Larina's novel, This I Cannot Forget, Leder had nothing to really worry about.

She knew nothing and no one important. Larina's husband, Nikolai Bukharin was an important leader in the Bolshevik party, so she knew more information than did Leder. Larina's book, however, appears to be a bit more intriguing than does Leder's. There were parts in Leder's book where one could find themselves wondering if she would ever escape the USSR, but Larina had the reader's wondering if she would ever get out of the prison camp that she was put into by Stalin. Since Leder was from the United States, she also brought out a sense of realism in her book. She knew what freedom was and what it meant to be free. Others like her husband, Larina, and Leder's friends in the USSR did not know about that idea of being free to do and say what one wanted. They did not understand what it meant to have...