Leningrad 1941-42

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Member Reviews

A heat wrenching story. Even though it is non fiction it is easy to get absorbed in the plight of the people who lived this. I felt there was a good deal of information and loved the book even as it depressed me a little.
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1941 - 1942: The siege of Leningrad, presented in the letters and stories of those who survived it. The shocking true story of the suffering endured in this 900 day Russian blockade perpetrated by Nazi Germany, which left many men, women, and children in St. Petersburg to starve. This starling story, presented by historian Sergey Yarov will transport you back in time.
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I would like to thank the author, the publisher and Netgalley for issuing me with ARC in exchange for the honest review.
This title is the fullest account I have ever come across of the siege of Leningrad during WW2 with regard to the human suffering. The author draws on letters, diaries and oral testimony of those who lived in the city, not always survived, and paints a most horrid picture of life with almost no food and tries to understand how lack of daily supplies of virtually anyhing influences people. I could not put this book down although at times it was truly horrifying. It is a reccomendable  read for those who want to broaden their knowledge on WW2 but it definitely is a book that will leave a trace.
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I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

This book is about the Leningrad 1941-42 siege which was a prolonged military blockade undertaken from the south by the Army Group North of Nazi Germany against Leningrad, historically and currently known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. The siege started on 8 September 1941, when the last road to the city was severed. Although the Soviet forces managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943, the siege was not lifted until 27 January 1944, 872 days after it began. It was one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history, and possibly the costliest in casualties suffered.

This isn't just a history book but a book on what happens to people in these situations. It looks at how morality and about our own rules of ethical behaviour. The author recounts of the horrors of war faced by the inhabitants of Leningrad in 1941-1942, with a particular focus on starvation. 

3.5 stars
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Detailed account of a terrible period of history.   I have read many accounts of this period in Russian history, and this was definitely one of the best.
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This harrowing account of the Siege of Leningrad (1941-1942)  brings to life the horrors faced by people in the besieged city.  Told through the memoirs, letters and accounts of those who were there, it is not an easy read but gives a full and frank account of humanity and the horror of war. Highly recommended.
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This book recounts one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century: the siege of Leningrad. It is based on the searing testimony of eyewitnesses, some of whom managed to survive, while others were to die in streets devastated by bombing, in icy houses, or the endless bread queues. All of them, nevertheless, wanted to pass on to us the story of the torments they endured, their stoicism, compassion and humanity, and of how people reached out to each other in the nightmare of the siege.

Though the siege continues to loom large in collective memory, an overemphasis on the heroic endurance of the victims has tended to distort our understanding of events. In this book, which focuses on the "Time of Death", the harsh winter of 1941-42, Sergey Yarov adopts a new approach, demonstrating that if we are to truly appreciate the nature of this suffering, we must face the full realities of people's actions and behaviour. Many of the documents published here – letters, diaries, memoirs and interviews not previously available to researchers or retrieved from family archives – show unexpected aspects of what it was like to live in the besieged city. Leningrad changed, and so did the morals, customs and habits of Leningraders. People wanted at all costs to survive. Their notes about the siege reflect a drama which cost a million people their lives. There is no spurious cheeriness and optimism in them, and much that we might like to pass over. But we must not. We have a duty to know the whole, bitter truth about the siege, the price that had to be paid in order to stay human in a time of brutal inhumanity.
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been on a huge world war 2 kick and while i prefer fiction, this book helped fill in some pieces
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'This is a book about the price that had to be paid in order to remain human in a time of inhumanity'

There are many diaries and other survivors' documents from the siege of Leningrad: instead of being another, this takes an objective, academic look at what the human costs were, and how to think about the ethics of cruelty and suffering. 

Undoubtedly a harrowing read as we're brought very close to the realities of not just starvation but of watching your closest friends, families and loved ones starve to death, this categorises and explores the ethical responses to extreme deprivation: cruelty, as Yarov says, becomes a survival skill. 

Not an easy book to read, but an unflinching look at what happens to ideals of humanity when faced with the pragmatic realities of life and death.
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The infamous and horrific siege of Leningrad lasted 900 days, and in this account the St Petersburg historian Sergey Yarov concentrates on the worst period from the end of 1941 to the beginning of 1942. Rather than a conventional history, it’s a study of how the beleaguered people behaved as conditions worsened and starvation set in, and an exploration of how easily and quickly civilised behaviour can break down in times of extreme stress. Harrowing as all accounts of the siege are, this book is no exception and I found it not only moving but almost unbearable at times.
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This book is extremely well researched, and is very thorough, yet depiste its scholarly aspect I found it quite accessible, both thanks to the writing style and the way the book is divided into short sections.
It is a must for anyone who is interested in the history of Leningrad or even human behaviour in general.
The author based his writing on a wide range of sources and uses lots of stories from witnesses of the siege, which makes the whole thing particularly interesting.
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This book wasn’t quite what I expected, I was expecting a more general history of the Leningrad military offensive, but the book turned out to be an extensively-researched recounting of the horrors of war faced by the inhabitants of Leningrad in 1941-1942, with a particular focus on starvation. While on the one hand so much of it was beyond belief, on the other hand, when surrounded with so much death, the rules of society and humanity that once existed simply goes out the window, and horrors such as this take sway. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Fascinating, meticulously researched, and so well tied together.  A wonderful book.
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As a History graduate I naturally have favourite periods to learn about. For me it is definitely Russian history, especially from the late 1800's. Therefore I am always on the hunt for more books to itch that scratch.
This was an incredibly interesting and well thought out book. Very accessible, which to me is so important. I can't tell you how many text books made me want to fall asleep despite the subject matter.
Yarov wrote with a flare that made this book a joy to read.
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