Rosemary Sullivan - Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Sullivan writes a lengthy biography of the daughter of the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin. “Lana” defected to the United States in 1967. The book chronicles her childhood, her defection, the suspicion and accusations people in the West had about her, her numerous (and mostly disastrous) relationships. It ends with her death, just after the rise of power of Putin.

After moving to the West, Lana has to learn about things that seem basic here - bank accounts, bills, finding a job, etc. The most fascinating and surprising parts of the book involve her time at Talieson, Frank Lloyd Wright’s peculiar collectivist architecture community and the various Soviet propaganda campaigns.

This book is a long one and it becomes a bit of a trial towards the end. Individual moments in her life are worthy of a book in and of themselves, leading to a strange combination of wanting both more and less detail. 

What’s Next? 

Second book I finished this weekend and I think my Russian/ Communism history journey is complete for a while.