Stalins' Daughter

Stalins Daughter

When we are born we are all forced to live, to one degree or another, under the umbrella of our parents. We may be the professors’ daughter, or the priests’ son. Sometimes we are even the serial killers’ sister or the star quarterbacks’ brother, but we are rarely just us. I enjoyed the book, Stalins’ Daughter, not because she was an amazing character or because she inspired me to do or become something, but watching her life play out in the shadow of her father was very interesting. Really, considering the circumstances I suppose her life could have been far worse than it was.  Emotionally she seemed to bounce from mars to the moon and geographically she moved even more. The color of her passport changed with the seasons and she had children and lovers from all ends of the earth. But this, in and of itself, doesn’t not make for an interesting life. However, being the daughter of Stalin, whose mother committed suicide and growing up in the shadow of one of the most perilous times in history, does up the intensity of your biography. From one forbidden love to delivering the ashes of another, Svetlana seemed determined to find what she was looking for in life. How she ended up on the compound of Frank Lloyd Wright in Phoenix and the ranch lands of Wisconsin can only be explained by the turning of the clock. Where we end up is often many miles from where we began.

 Historical Value- 4

Emotional Value- 1

Entertainment Value- 3

Personal character Value- 3

Age recommendation- Adult

 “What would it mean to be born Stalin’s daughter, to carry the weight of that name for a lifetime and never be free of it?” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 

“Her laconic humor helped. She could say, “I don’t any longer have the pleasant illusion that I can be free of the label ‘Stalin’s daughter.’ . . . You can’t regret your fate, though I do regret my mother didn’t marry a carpenter.”2” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 “She unequivocally rejected his crimes, yet he was the father who, in her childhood memory, was loving—until he wasn’t.” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 “Why did Americans smile so often? Was it out of politeness or because of a gay disposition?” Whatever it was, she, who had never been “spoiled with smiles,” found it pleasant!” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 

“Who can live without personal retrospect? We will always glance back to our childhood, for we are shaped deep in our core by the impress of our parents, and we will always wonder how that molding determined us. Svetlana willfully believed in her happy childhood, even as she gradually understood that it was secured by untold bloodshed. What was it about this strange childhood that she would always turn to it for solace?” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 

“By 1918 Nadya’s letters hint that she has fallen in love with Stalin. Svetlana explains that Nadya “had only begun to grow when the Revolution broke out, whereas he [Stalin] was already a man nearly forty, an age of hardened scepticism and cold calculation and all the other qualities important in a politician.” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

“She does not convey the monumentality of the event—the vozhd is dying—but rather she recounts the death as a daughter would. “Who loves this lonely man?” she asks, watching his ministers ricocheting between fear and ambition, Beria scrambling for ascendency. Only his servants. When a comatose Stalin raises his arm in his last moments, she sees this as a gesture of rage against life itself. He had wished to dominate life, but life had finally defeated him.” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 

“The truth was that Svetlana did not know what love was. Some deep part of her probably believed she couldn’t be loved. She was still looking for a romanticized, idealized substitute for love. In this she was not unlike many women, though perhaps her case was extreme. She felt she needed a man to invent her or complete her. Her desperation came from the terror of being alone, but who among the men she was drawn to would bind themselves to Stalin’s daughter and take on that darkness?” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 

“Her reaction was in character. Svetlana was at heart a gambler. Throughout her life she would make a monumental decision entirely on impulse, and then ride the consequences with an almost giddy abandon. She always said her favorite story by Dostoyevsky was The Gambler.” 
― 
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

 

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