Beria by Amy Knight
Stalin's First Lieutenant

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Synopsis

This is the first comprehensive biography of Lavrentii Beria, Stalin's notorious police chief and for many years his most powerful lieutenant. Beria has long symbolized all the evils of Stalinism, haunting the public imagination both in the West and in the former Soviet Union. Yet because his political opponents expunged his name from public memory after his dramatic arrest and execution in 1953, little has been previously published about his long and tumultuous career.

 

About Amy Knight

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Amy Knight has a Ph.D. in Russian politics from the London School of Economics. She has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, and is a world expert in Soviet and Russian security services. She has written for "The New York Times," "The Times Literary Supplement," "The Washington Post," and "The New York Review of Books," Her four previous books, "The KGB: Police and Politics in the Soviet Union" (1988), "Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant" (1993), "Spies Without Cloaks: The KGB Successors" (1996), and "Who Killed Kirov? The Kremlin's Greatest Mystery" (1999), have all received prominent international attention.
 
Published November 15, 1993 by Princeton University Press. 338 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Yet the broader context of the culture of terror in which Beria's ghastly talents flourished remains hazy: Knight supplies no ethical or moral account of Stalinism, and few contemporary figures beyond Beria himself, his grim master, and familiar names such as Khrushchev, Malenkov, and Molotov eme...

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Publishers Weekly

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As Stalin's police chief, right-hand man and commander of the Gulag slave-labor network, Lavrenty Beria (1899-1953) was a mass murderer whose weapons included torture, deportation and execution.

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The Independent

This admirably cool and detailed book is the first serious biography of Beria, who was killed by his colleagues in the aftermath of Stalin's demise in 1953.

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The Independent

After his death, Beria became a 'non-person' for many years: the editors of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, for example, provided for its subscribers a replacement entry on the Bering Sea, and recommended that the entry on Beria be removed 'with a small knife or razor blade'.

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