The Wolf of the Kremlin: The First Biography of L.M. Kaganovich

Stuart Kahan, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07529-3
The reader wonders at the gimmick of the ""affidavit'' included here signed by Kahan's father, which asserts that the primary sources for this book about Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich are the wolf himselfwhom the author implicates in murdering Stalin and describes as a ``self-hating Jew'' and the ``ultimate Jew-hater''and the author's paternal grandfather, Lazar's first cousin. He also apparently accepts as received truth family legend about the cousin from whom his Ukrainian grandfather parted as a teenager, Morris going to the U.S., Lazar to Kiev to agitate for the Bolsheviks. And Kahan (The Expectant Father's Survival Kit, etc.) fails to make clear the specific information he gleaned from an interview with his 93-year-old ``Uncle Lazar'' in Moscow in 1981, causing one to read with skepticism reconstructed conversations of Russian Revolution contemporaries about the purges, WW II and Kremlin politics and quotes attributed to Stalin, Khrushchev, Malenkov, Mikoyan et al. as we watch Lazar rise to power as Stalin's ``apparatus of terror.'' A meaningful biography of the sinister Kaganovich is still to be written. Photos. (October 21)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
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