Stalin's Scribe: Literature, Ambition, and Survival: The Life of Mikhail Sholokhov

Brian Boeck (Author)

Product Details

Pegasus Books
Publish Date
February 05, 2019
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.6 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Brian J. Boeck holds a Ph.D. in Russian history from Harvard University and have taught Russian and Soviet history for over a decade at DePaul University. He is the author of Imperial Boundaries (Cambridge) and lives in Chicago, Illinois.


An important and stimulating book.
Boeck displays his wide range of knowledge of the Soviet Union and delivers an insightful, gripping, squirm-inducing portrait of a great author who loyally served his government--perhaps too loyally.
Boeck paints a nuanced portrait in this literary biography of a Nobel Prize-winning Russian novelist and accused (but exonerated) plagiarist. Boeck's portrayal of his subject's international ill-fame, habit of hiding his emotions, clashes with Stalin's successor Khrushchev, and drinking bouts make this a deeply engaging take on an important literary figure.
A provocative and sympathetic new biography. No small achievement.
Excellent. Boeck has written more than a biography of a single writer; he also grants us unexpected insights into the minds of two of the most important Soviet leaders. I hope that Boeck's book will help bring back our attention to a remarkable novel.--Robert Chandler, The Financial Times
Boeck relates with Dostoyevskian verisimilitude the psychological agonies Sholokhov must have endured at the time. Sholokhov's struggle to stay true to his vision in an atmosphere of blinding darkness is the theme of Boeck's riveting political biography. To his great credit, Boeck himself is never blind to Sholokhov's profound flaws or to the fact that his struggle was largely doomed from the start. Insightful and compelling.