The Inner Circle: An Inside View of Soviet Life Under Stalin-A Pictorial History

Andrei Konchalovsky, Author, Alexander Lipkov, With, Jamey Gambrell, Designed by
Andrei Konchalovsky, Author, Alexander Lipkov, With, Jamey Gambrell, Designed by Newmarket Press $18.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-55704-106-7
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-1-55704-130-2
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Well-known Soviet director Konchalovsky and screenwriter Lipkov here offer a companion volume to the former's movie of the same title. ``The inner circle'' refers to those party officials closest to the Soviet dictator, but the heart of the book deals with Alexander Ganshin, Stalin's personal film projectionist from 1935 until the dictator's death in 1953, whose life is fictionalized in the Konchalovsky film. As a book on Stalin, the volume adds little new information and is of marginal interest. But Ganshin's story, a study of the banality of evil, has much to tell us. For the sake of a job, a better apartment and a certain freedom from fear, the projectionist was willing to serve a man who, for many, epitomized evil. Ganshin turned a blind eye to the brutalities of the regime and even today is annoyed by attempts to disparage his former boss. The book contains many fine archival photographs of Stalin and those around him, but it never transcends its limitations as a movie companion piece. (A final chapter deals wth the film's production). Its appeal will probably rise or fall with the picture's popularity. ( Feb. )
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