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My Papa Murdered Mikhoels
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The author's father, when he was a senior Communist Party member in Belorussia, could have been implicated in the assassination of Mikhoels, the popular director of the State Jewish Theatre in the Soviet Union. This was carried out on the orders of Stalin in 1948 when Vladimir was twenty three years old. His own life is headed towards the theatre rather than politics-and subsequently, 'shaming his father's grey hairs,' into the Moscow dissident movement. Early years are sheltered and privileged, but a psychotic outburst in a restaurant against the tyranny of Stalinism results in him being incarcerated in the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, where he comes across an aristocratic English spy. Gusarov himself has a keen interest in the West and expresses particular admiration for the British Labour Party as well as the Queen. Further deviations, run-ins with the KGB and Soviet psychiatry pattern a failing stage career. But he does at one point find himself the uneasy star of a film about Soviet railways ordered by Kaganovich. During all this time father, for his own sake as much as that of his son, saves Vladimir from being sent to a labour camp. Perhaps that is what allows him to write with such cynical humour about his slow descent into chaos and oblivion. His accounts of a multitude of encounters with people from all walks of Russian life (including colourful episodes with Voroshilov and Solzhenitsyn-as well as his marriages and wayward sexual adventures) are enormously enriched by the actor's power of speech recall.
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Table of Contents

The translators; acknowledgements Introduction Part 1 1Prologue 2About Homer 3About father 4To age seventeen 5About mama 6Childhood 7Ideology 8 First deviation 9Papa's friends 10Pity 11The whole country 12All-Saints and Sokol 13Reflections 14Boy with a cock 15Sverdlovsk 16Kabakov's black cat 17Perm; it's also Molotov 18He and She 19The theatre 20 The other grandmother 21Colleagues 22Ignoramus 2322nd June 1941 24Evacuees 25Commissar Zavirokhin 26A fighting friend 27Antselovich 28To the front 29The front 30German leaflets 31Don't be a white crow! 32My universities 33A situation 34A pass to all locations 35Mistakes 36Again the theatre 37Crisis 38November celebrations 39International Organisation for the Assistance of Casualties (MOPR) 40The crisis develops 41Not comrade Stalin, but Iosif Vissarionovich! 42Seriozha Shtein 43Dust, dust, dust... 44The role of Lenin 45Verkhovsky 46 Internationale Part 2 47In the remand cell (KPZ) 48Friday 49Alone 50The martyr's crown of the Russian intelligentsia 51A twilight state of the spirit 52The commission 53One floor higher 54Taganka - every night filled with fire 55Balashikha prison 56The stolypin 57Kazan 58The Russian nationalist Soldatov 59The Anthem of the Soviet Union 60He is dead, dead, dead ... 61The doctors' plot 62Emperors and presidents 63Beria - enemy of the people 64To the gallows of the Bolsheviks! 65The British subject 66On the side of the party 67Film director Kapchinsky 68Intellizhens Servis 69SR Lapshov 70The dictator 71Butyrka 72 With your things Part 3 73How life treated me when I was free 74Amorous business 75Rumours 76The American exhibition 77Two more years 78My little white pigeon 79From my diary 80A death and a funeral 81Ivan Denisovich 82Working days 83Chapaevsky Street 84Unemployed 85Tomsk 86Grandmother Fenia 87Nikolia-the-fool 88Television 89Zaochni Narodni Universitet Iskusstv 90 Kashchenko 91In the homeland of a great writer 92I love you 93At the Ministry of Culture 94Aesop and the GPU (State Political Administration) 95A page from my diary 96Pages from my diary 97In the Kremlin hospital 98The Klyazma sanatorium 99The last lines of a confiscated diary 100 Vasili Ivanovich Chapaev and Petka 101 Yakir 102 Epilogue Chronology Glossary Bibliography Index

About the Author

Clive Giller (born 1933 in London) is a retired architect, but after graduating from Cambridge University practised at first as an engineer. He learned Russian when doing National Service and has since travelled in Russia and become keenly interested in recent developments there. Yuri Popov (born 1951 in Kotlas, USSR) studied sculpture and architecture at the Repin Institute, Saint Petersburg. He came to England in 1991 and since then has continued to involve himself in building design and sculpture.

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