"By turning Shostakovich into a saint, a hero, or a martyr to gratify our hatred of the evil that surrounded him, we grant him no posthumous victory. All we do is reduce him to the level of our imperfect comprehension and our biases. Better to let the contradictions stand. They are what have made Shostakovich so consequential."―Richard Taruskin, The New Republic, December 24, 2001
"The debate over the politics of Shostakovich continues. Story of a Friendship injects a fresh perspective from the composer's private correspondence."―Schirmer News, December '01/January '02
"No doubt for good reason, Shostakovich maintained close relationships with very few people. One of these was theater historian and dramaturge Isaak Glikman. . . The letters are as revelatory as anything touching this reclusive artist can be. . . This volume will serve academic and general readers at all levels."―Choice, April 2002, Vol. 29, No. 8
"For the first time, a significant collection of Shostakovich's letters is available in English, providing a clear window into the personality and the day-to-day life of the composer who penned symphonies, concertos and chamber music under repressive conditions. . . Story of a Friendship almost certainly is the closest we will ever come to having 'Shostakovich's book.'"―David Hendricks, San Antonio Express News, March 17, 2002
"This compilation of Shostakovich's personal letters gives, in its own idiosyncratic way, a hearing to the composer's own voice. This voice, albeit sincere and warm, is neither overtly frank nor straightforward, and―just as his music―is open to multiple interpretations. . . It is an important contribution to Shostakovich studies, particularly helpful to those who cannot read the original, and for those potential readers it is highly recommended."―Margarita Mazo, Ohio State University, The Russian Review, October 2003.