Lenin's Embalmers by Ilya Zbarsky

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Professor Ilya Zbarski mummified Lenin two months after his death to maintain the Soviet founder's body in perpetuity. Between 1924 and the fall of communism in 1991, hundreds of millions of visitors paid their respects to the embalmed bodies of Lenin and later, Stalin. This text reveals the story of Zbarski, his family and of those who worked in the mausoleum laboratory. Lenin's body was plunged into a secret solution based on glycerine and potassium acetate. This story, unthinkable except in a totalitarian regime, is also that of the burgeoning Soviet Union and those who, disregarding Stalin and his growing antisemitic paranoia, believed that working in the shadows of the mausoleum would protect them forever. Abandoned by the State since 1991, the laboratory can only survive through the patronage of the "nouveaux riches" and the Russian mafia dynasties. The text includes both archival and contemporary photographs.
 

About Ilya Zbarsky

See more books from this Author
Zbarsky is a biochemist specializing in cell-nucleus research, and worked at the mausoleum laboratory for 18 years. Hutchinson is the director of a photographic press agency based in Moscow.
 
Published April 1, 1999 by Harvill Press. 208 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lenin's Embalmers

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

the antipathy between the young man and his stepmother), Zbarsky shines when it comes to corpse preservation: he recounts the evacuation of Lenin's body to Siberia during WWII and includes a chapter focusing on the process used to preserve the leader of the World Proletariat.

| Read Full Review of Lenin's Embalmers

London Review of Books

If you are using the site for the first time please register here If you would like access to all 12,000 articles subscribe here Institutions or university library users please login here Learn more about our institutional subscriptions here A downloadable PDF version of this book review is...

| Read Full Review of Lenin's Embalmers

Reader Rating for Lenin's Embalmers
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review