This I Cannot Forget

In This Review

This I Cannot Forget

By Anna Larina
W. W. Norton, 1993
384 pp. $24.95

In March 1938, when Stalin's regime shot Nikolai Bukharin, Anna Larina, his 24-year-old third wife and mother of his baby son, was already in the Gulag. In these spare, eloquent, intelligent, caring but un-emotional memoirs--written in the Brezhnev era, published in the Gorbachev era-- Larina not only recounts her fate in the camps and that of the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of the prominent Bolsheviks consumed in the purges, but provides vivid and fascinating accounts of her famous husband and adoptive father, Yury Larin, one of Lenin's inner circle. As Stephen Cohen notes in his fine introduction, apart from the books of Trotsky and Stalin's daughter, this is "the only uncensored memoir ever to appear from inside the highest levels of that historic and doomed world." It is an enthralling book.

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