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About the book
  • Published: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407092010
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

A Writer At War

Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945




A WRITER AT WAR offers the one outstanding eye-witness account of the war on the Eastern Front and perhaps the best descriptions ever of what Grossman called 'the ruthless truth of war'.

Vasily Grossman's masterpiece LIFE AND FATE is rated by many as the greatest Russian novel of the twentieth century. Among its admirers is Antony Beevor, the bestselling author of Stalingrad and Berlin. A WRITER AT WAR is based on the notebooks in which Grossman gathered his raw material. It depicts as never before the crushing conditions on the Eastern Front and the lives and deaths of infantrymen, tank drivers, pilots, snipers and civilians alike.
Deemed unfit for service when the Germans invaded in 1941, Grossman became a special correspondent for Red Star, the Red Army newspaper. Remarkably, he spent three of the following four years at the front observing with a writer's eye the most pitiless fighting ever known.
Grossman witnessed almost all the major events on the Eastern Front: the appalling defeats and desperate retreats of 1941, the defence of Moscow and fighting in the Ukraine. In August 1942 he was posted to Stalingrad where he remained during four months of brutal street-fighting. He was present at the battle of Kursk, the largest tank engagement in history, and, as the Red Army advanced, he reached Berdichev where his worst fears for his mother and other relations were confirmed. A Jew himself, he undertook the faithful recording of Holocaust atrocities as their extent dawned. His supremely powerful report 'The Hell of Treblinka' was used in evidence at the Nuremberg tribunal.
A WRITER AT WAR offers the one outstanding eye-witness account of the war on the Eastern Front and perhaps the best descriptions ever of what Grossman called 'the ruthless truth of war'.

  • Pub date: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407092010
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the Author

Vasily Grossman

Vasily Grossman was born in 1905. In 1941, he became a war reporter for the Red Army newspaper Red Star and came to be regarded as a legendary war hero. Life and Fate, his masterpiece, was considered a threat to the totalitarian regime, and Grossman was told that there was no chance of the novel being published for another 200 years. Grossman died in 1964.

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Praise for A Writer At War

“A remarkable addition to the literature of 1941-45... a wonderful portrait of the wartime experience of Russia... a worthy memorial to a remarkable man.”

Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph

“Impeccably edited, the commentary as informative as it is unobtrusive.”

Robert Chandler, Financial Times

“Grossman was above all a clear-eyed and generous witness to the human cost of war, civilians and soldiers of both sides, the lost women and broken men; in the very highest order of journalistic achievement, he was as alert to the victims as much as to the heroes his audience was required to read about.”

David Flusfeder, Daily Telegraph

“Grossman, like Isaac Babel twenty years before him, lifts war correspondence to new heights.”

Literary Review

“As a pithy account of war at its most extreme, this fascinating book will rarely be bettered.”

James Delingpole, Mail on Sunday

“Unforgettable... Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova have recovered nothing less than a lost classic of reportage.”

Sean McCarthy, The Scotsman

“Magnificent ... Any war correspondent writing today about the horrors we are still being subjected to by ideologues, mean-spirited leaders and fanatics of various shades and faiths, should take the time to read him. There is a profound humanity in his prose, an abilitity for empathy and a capacity for rage that one rarely meets.”

Omer Bartov, Times Literary Supplement

“In bringing his notebooks to a wider audience, and in reminding us about this brilliant witness, Beevor and Vinogradova have done their readers - and Grossman's memory - a great service”

Independent


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