A remarkable piece of forgotten history- the never-before-told story of Americans lured to Soviet Russia by the promise of jobs and better lives, only to meet tragic ends
In 1934, a photograph was taken of a baseball team. These two rows of young men look like any group of American ballplayers, except perhaps for the Russian lettering on their jerseys. The players have left their homeland and the Great Depression in search of a better life in Stalinist Russia, but instead they will meet tragic and, until now, forgotten fates. Within four years, most of them will be arrested alongside untold numbers of other Americans. Some will be executed. Others will be sent to "corrective labor" camps where they will be worked to death. This book is the story of lives-the forsaken who died and those who survived.
Based on groundbreaking research, The Forsaken is the story of Americans whose dreams were shattered and lives lost in Stalinist Russia.
The strength of this history lies in the compelling stories it tells about the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans who moved to the Soviet Union only to be imprisoned or killed by the Communist state. Many of those tracked by documentary filmmaker and television journalist Tzouliadis came to the Soviet Union during the Depression seeking economic opportunity or because they believed in Communist ideology. After a quick romance, the harsh reality set in as they were sent to languish or die in Stalin's prison camps. When Tzouliadis focuses on individual stories, such as that of Thomas Sgovio, who was imprisoned for almost a quarter-century before being allowed to return to the West, his words leap off the page. Too often, however, he veers away from his main subject with criticism of American journalists, ambassadors, artists and fellow travelers such as Paul Robeson and Walter Duranty who were either taken in by Soviet propaganda or willing to overlook state brutality. These stories have been told elsewhere and with more nuance, and here they detract from what is otherwise a captivating history.
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The other reviewer's appalling and absurd demand for an apology from the American left notwithstanding, this book is well worth the read. Thousands of desperate Americans during the Great Depression were defrauded into believing that life in Stalinist USSR was ideal. Instead, they fell into the abyss of tyrannical evil created by the monster from Georgia, perished, and were forgotten by history. The book's narrative style is natural and comfortable, as it lays out the facts from the perspectives of blue collar Detroit workers and Ivy League diplomats alike. Hopefully the story will catch on so the dead and doomed are forgotten no longer.
The excellent book for Left wing supporters.
This book must be reading material for the colleges and schools to restore the Western and America principles.