Soviet Union Tales from a Time of Terror

A novel suppressed for 20 years probes the Stalinist era

The author sits at a rough wooden trestle table in his country house near Moscow, thumbing through a stack of page proofs for his novel. "This book is ^ about power," he says. "Stalin was consciously aware of the uses of power, the abuses of power, how to get power and how to keep power. He could have debated with Machiavelli because he would have considered that Machiavelli knew less about power than he did."

This week an obscure literary journal, Druzhba Narodov (Friendship of Peoples), will publish the first of three monthly installments of Anatoli Rybakov's startling novel, Children of...

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