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Summoning the Spirit of General Vlasov Paperback – August 1, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In 1991, Gavriil Popov was the first democratically elected Mayor of Moscow, and is currently the President of the International University in Moscow, as well as the President of the International Union of Economists.  Dr. Popov was the youngest student in the USSR to earn his Ph.D. in economics, and has held various impressive positions since.  Formerly the editor in chief of the magazine Questions of Economics, Dr. Popov is the author of a number of well-known books in Russia that have been translated into a number of foreign languages and republished around the world.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Vantage Press (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0533159873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0533159871
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,946,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Paul E. Richardson VINE VOICE on October 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Perhaps it was coincidental that we received a review copy of this book, about Soviet Russia's most heinous traitor, Andrei Vlasov, written by Gavrill Popov, Yuri Luzhkov's predecessor as Mayor of Moscow, on the eve of Luzhkov's very public dismissal. Perhaps not.

Be that as it may, though the title and presentation is a bit off-putting, making the book seem like a political tract, if one delves into it, Popov's short work raises some very important historical questions, and does it in a not un-entertaining way.

Popov, an economist and one of Russia's perestroika democrats, is convinced that "the past is hindering the true democratic development of Russia, like a millstone around its neck." And, as time has led historians and politicians to forgive and "rehabilitate" many who were once designated as traitors (Bukharin, Trotsky, Tuhkachevsky), he wonders "Why not Vlasov as well?" After all, Vlasov had been a hero in the defenses of Moscow and Kiev during World War II.

Vlasov's "crime" was being captured as a prisoner of war, and then agreeing with the opponents of Hitler to create an anti-Stalin army. Of course he failed at this. But why, Popov wonders, was Vlasov condemned for turning against "his own people" when Stalin's security forces were doing the same long before he?

It is an inquiry that Popov chooses to conduct through the conceit of a mystical conversation with Vlasov. In it, he focuses not just on Vlasov, but on numerous similar historical betrayals by others since treated as heroes. The result is a fascinating historical excursion with plenty of food for thought.

As reviewed by Russian Life
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