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The Besieged: A Story of Survialby Caroline Walton
Synopses & Reviews
On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and German troops advanced towards Leningrad, Russia's second city with a population of three million. On June 27 the people of Leningrad began constructing fortifications around the city and steeled themselves for a defensive struggle which was to continue until January 1944. So fervent was the people's resistance that German forces, frustrated by their inability to take the stronghold, encircled the city in a nine hundred-day-long siege, beginning on September 8, 1941, during which around five hundred thousand troops and up to a million civilians died.
Published to mark the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of the siege of Leningrad on September 8, 1941, The Besieged takes us inside the fortifications and into the homes and lives of those trapped in Leningrad. The history of the siege is recounted here by survivors who, in the summer of 1999, disclosed their memories of that time to writer Caroline Walton. Their stories describe humanity at its utter limit—encompassing desperation, fear, grief, famine, murder, and even cannibalism. But these are also stories of courage, camaraderie, fortitude, music, passion, and pride, and of an elusive, not quite describable but ineffably human quality that allows hungry people to survive the worst that human experience can yield. Harrowing, yet uplifting, The Besieged is history in the broadest and best sense.
Caroline Walton is the author of Ivan Petrov Russia through a Shot Glass, Little Tenement on the Volga, and The Voice of Leningrad, which won the New London Writers' Award. She is a fluent Russian speaker.
Published to mark the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of the Siege of Leningrad, the book features rare survivor accounts.
About the Author
Caroline Waltons experience in Leningrad resulted in her book Little Tenement on the Volga.
She has published two further books on Russia: Ivan Petrov Russia through a Shot Glass and _ e Voice of Leningrad, which won the New London Writers Award. Caroline lives in London, where she continues to write on Russia. Last year she translated from Russian a full length work on the history of Kazakhstan by its President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
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