Review of Metaphysics 21 (3):546-547 (1968)

This series of character sketches is disappointing to the reader expecting an interpretive historical document. The bulk of the book is taken up with reflections about the author's mother, who died when Svetlana was only six, her mother's family, her brothers, and her sweethearts. Many readers are naturally interested in the figure of Stalin, but he is treated directly only in small and scattered portions of the book with much of the information repeated. It becomes evident that the author knew her father primarily through his impact on the people she loved. Consequently, the figure of Stalin emerges as somewhat enigmatic and mysterious, a combination god and devil. It is apparent that she did not really know him very well, see him very often, or think about him very much. The book is not really about Stalin at all. It is an enjoyable combination of behind-the-scenes gossip, and engrossing narrative fragments.—S. O. H.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph196821313
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