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Writing the Siege of Leningrad: Women's Diaries, Memoirs, and Documentary Prose (Pitt Series in Russian and East European Studies) Hardcover – May 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0822941835 ISBN-10: 082294183X Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Pitt Series in Russian and East European Studies
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082294183X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822941835
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,754,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The Siege of Leningrad contains some of the darkest history of World War II. The German army, unable to complete a direct assault on the city, resorted to a 900-day blockade during which approximately a million civilians died. Most of the men and boys were sacrificed to the war effort, leaving mainly women and children to endure the horrors of extreme deprivation caused by the blockade. Simmons (Slavic studies, Boston Coll.) and Perlina, a survivor of the siege and now a professor of Slavic languages and literature, have collected memoirs and oral histories from women who lived through this ghastly drama and melded them into a powerful narrative. While hundreds of books on the subject spout official Soviet dogma, this volume has emerged since the fall of communism, and it offers the genuine voice of the people. The authors successfully capture women's battle for survival and heroic struggle to maintain a semblance of municipal life during the siege. The library, for instance, never missed a beat, circulating more than a million and a half books and documents. As this account details, the physical struggles were enormous. In winter, most citizens lived without heat as temperatures fell to 40 degrees below zero. Grass and leaves, along with glue and anything leather, were the staples of their diet, as all dogs and cats had long ago been eaten. Cannibalism saved many from starving. A very touching account of these women's remarkable accomplishments, this book is recommended for all libraries. Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"A very touching account of these women’s remarkable accomplishments." -- Library Journal, April 2001

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Collaboratively edited by Cynthia Simmons (Associate Professor of Slavic Studies, Boston College) and Nina Perlina (Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Indiana University - and herself a child survivor of the Siege of Leningrad), Writing The Siege Of Leningrad: Women's Diaries, Memoirs, And Documentary Prose is an impressive compilation of writings by Russian women who struggled and suffered during Siege of Leningrad by German and Finnish troops during World War II. Focusing on the civilian experience from the women's perspective, experiences which ranged from replacing the men who died in industrial labor, to somehow keeping families together, and weathering immense casualties due to bloodshed, starvation and a bitter winter, Writing The Siege Of Leningrad is an profoundly important, deeply moving, insightful collection of human experience and a strongly recommended addition to Russian History, European Studies, and Women's Studies supplemental reading lists and academic reference collections.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Norah on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was led to read this book after reading "The Winter Garden", historical fiction about the seige of Leningrad. Both books provide an amazing insight to a period of history we're only just learning about as information becomes declassified. Writing the Seige of Leningrad is critical reading for those wanting to better understand the daily life of the women in Leningrad before, during, and after the war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janet Lutz-Smith on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because this book is written about and by the people who lived through the horrors of the siege of Leningrad it is absolutely priceless and of an historical value.
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