In This Review

Stalin's Prosecutor: The Life Of Andre Vyshinsky
Stalin's Prosecutor: The Life Of Andre Vyshinsky
By Arkady Vaksberg
Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, 384 pp

A frank, honest and totally devastating biography of the man who held center stage as prosecutor in the Moscow purge trials of the 1930s. The author managed to gain access to many hitherto inaccessible documents, including Vyshinsky's personal archives. The record shows Vyshinsky to have been even more ruthless and unprincipled than he was generally thought to be. The book covers adequately his later years as Stalin's diplomatic troubleshooter, foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations, but the real story is that of the trials and his role, as Stalin's henchman, in sending so many to their deaths.