Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944

Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944

by Anna Reid

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On September 8, 1941, eleven weeks after Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, his brutal surprise attack on the Soviet Union, Leningrad was surrounded. The siege was not lifted for two and a half years, by which time some three quarters of a million Leningraders had died of starvation.

Anna Reid's Leningrad is a gripping, authoritative narrative history of this dramatic moment in the twentieth century, interwoven with indelible personal accounts of daily siege life drawn from diarists on both sides. They reveal the Nazis' deliberate decision to starve Leningrad into surrender and Hitler's messianic miscalculation, the incompetence and cruelty of the Soviet war leadership, the horrors experienced by soldiers on the front lines, and, above all, the terrible details of life in the blockaded city: the relentless search for food and water; the withering of emotions and family ties; looting, murder, and cannibalism- and at the same time, extraordinary bravery and self-sacrifice.

Stripping away decades of Soviet propaganda, and drawing on newly available diaries and government records, Leningrad also tackles a raft of unanswered questions: Was the size of the death toll as much the fault of Stalin as of Hitler? Why didn't the Germans capture the city? Why didn't it collapse into anarchy? What decided who lived and who died? Impressive in its originality and literary style, Leningrad gives voice to the dead and will rival Anthony Beevor's classic Stalingrad in its impact.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802778826
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 15,807
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Anna Reid is the author of The Shaman's Coat: A Native History of Siberia and Borderland: A Journey Through the History of the Ukraine. She holds a master degree in Russian history and reform economics from the University of London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She was Ukraine correspondent for The Economist and the Daily Telegraph from 1993-1995, and from 2003-2007 she ran the foreign affairs program at the think-tank Policy Exchange
Anna Reid holds a master's degree in Russian history and reform economics from London University's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She was the Kiev correspondent for the Economist and the Daily Telegraph from 1993 to 1995. Her first book, Borderland: A Journey through the History of the Ukraine, was published to wide acclaim in 1997. Ms. Reid lives in London.

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction i

Part 1 Invasion: June-September 1941

1 22 June 1941 13

2 Barbarossa 25

3 '"We're Winning, but the Germans are Advancing' 51

4 The Peoples Levy 73

5 'Caught in a Mousetrap' 91

Part 2 The Siege Begins: September-December 1941

6 'No Sentimentality' 113

7 'To Our Last Heartbeat' 139

8 125 Grams 158

9 Falling Down the Funnel 174

Part 3 Mass Death: Winter 1941-2

10 The Ice Road 195

11 Sleds and Cocoons 208

12 'We Were Like Stones' 232

13 Svyazi 252

14 'Robinson Crusoe Was a Lucky Man' 268

15 Corpse-Eating and Person-Eating 280

16 Anton Ivanovich is Angry 293

17 The Big House 303

Part 4 Waiting for Liberation: January 1942-January 1944

18 Meat Wood 313

19 The Gentle Joy of Living and Breathing 331

20 The Leningrad Symphony 356

21 The Last Year 370

Part 5 Aftermath

22 Coming Home 389

23 The Cellar of Memory 406

Appendix I How Many? 417

Appendix II 419

Notes 421

Bibliography 459

Index 473

Customer Reviews

Leningrad 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
djbeyers75 More than 1 year ago
History books so often articulate the dates, the events that form the narrative of an event - often with an almost scientific precision. Yet few capture the story of an event. Anna Reid's book, "Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944" does exactly that. Remaining true to historical account, Reid goes beyond simple retelling of the dates and particularities of the siege of Leningrad and shares the story of those who lived through one of the 20th centuries most horrific and lesser-known events.  It is absolutely apparent that Reid analyzed this event from every perspective available to her. The interweaving of journal accounts, survivor interviews with the contextualization of the siege within the larger Russian experience of the Nazi siege provides a seemingly complete narrative. Yet Reid recognizes, or so it seems from her final chapter, that her retelling of the stories of those who experienced the atrocities of the Leningrad siege are not entirely complete - rather, a glimpse into a dark chapter of history. Simply put, I found this to be the most engaging and captivating historical book that I have read in recent years. I highly recommend this book to not only those interested in great historical narrative, but all readers who enjoy good writing.
lawrenceofalaska More than 1 year ago
Excellent book-Well researched and very readable I have also read 900 days
Suomi54 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Very well researched, very well documented. References are clearly cited and plentiful. Ms. Reid has done an outstanding job of bringing this tragedy and travesty to light. Current and future generations, as in the past, begin to lose the memory and horror of bygone atrocities. It is ever more important that we not forget lest we relive them time and time again. Ms. Reid has done a commendable job of documenting the Leningrad Siege without being heavy-handed or preachy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A slow start, with lengthy and dull descriptions of battles, but absolutely rivering once it gets going. Reads like a novel, but definitely not for the squeamish. Heart-breaking and absolutely fascinating. Also, the print is very large, about twice the size of other books I've read on the Nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for russian historical buffs. Paints a real life picture of the trials and tribulations of a nation in turmoil.
bikerman More than 1 year ago
This is a great story of the people of Leningrad and how they starved off {literally} the German Siege. Very graphic in telling the story of Starvation, illiness inhumanity of man to man during the siege. Not for the squeamish. Well written and riveting.
wbwilburn5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written and interesting. She writes in a manner that puts the reader in place and in the shoes of her subjects.
twp77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A truly moving, well researched and passionately written account of the people of Leningrad during the siege. The chilling accounts of the experiences of ordinary Russians during the darkest days of the Nazi invasion give one a real feel for the reality of a once vibrant city being transformed into a famine stricken nightmare. Given that much of the true accounts were suppressed until recently, this is an invaluable book for anyone interested in Russian or Soviet history, but also the reality of life in a siege city during the Second World War. Five Stars!
aadyer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very effective & Direct assessment of the siege from the Soviet side. Very good on primary sources & entertainingly written, very descriptive & almost unbearable in parts. Great at destroying some of the myths that have got set up about this terrible event, like the Soviet Ice Road, the cannibalism, & the Leningrad Symphony. Not so good from the German point of view. Wonderful if you like your history to be from the inside of the cauldron, but not if you want it to be fully balanced. Still interesting & highly readable. Very good for anyone who wants to know about this era, the Great Patriotic War & the Russians
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Zor-El More than 1 year ago
This was a good book. I found it interesting and it definitely provided the indepth view on this often forgotten aspect of WW2. It does drag in parts but overall is a solid read which I recommend.
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