My Life in Stalinist Russia by Mary M. Leder
An American Woman Looks Back

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



"The thoughtful memoirs of a disillusioned daughter of the Russian Revolution.... A sometimes astonishing, worm’s-eye view of life under totalitarianism, and a valuable contribution to Soviet and Jewish studies." —Kirkus Reviews

"In this engrossing memoir, Leder recounts the 34 years she lived in the U.S.S.R.... [She] has a marvelous memory for the details of everyday life.... This plainly written account will particularly appeal to readers with a general interest in women’s memoirs, Russian culture and history, and leftist politics." —Publishers Weekly

In 1931, Mary M. Leder, an American teenager, was attending high school in Santa Monica, California. By year’s end, she was living in a Moscow commune and working in a factory, thousands of miles from her family, with whom she had emigrated to Birobidzhan, the area designated by the USSR as a Jewish socialist homeland. Although her parents soon returned to America, Mary, who was not permitted to leave, would spend the next 34 years in the Soviet Union. My Life in Stalinist Russia chronicles Leder’s experiences from the extraordinary perspective of both an insider and an outsider. Readers will be drawn into the life of this independent-minded young woman, coming of age in a society that she believed was on the verge of achieving justice for all but which ultimately led her to disappointment and disillusionment. Leder’s absorbing memoir presents a microcosm of Soviet history and an extraordinary window into everyday life and culture in the Stalin era.


About Mary M. Leder

See more books from this Author
Laurie Bernstein is Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University.
Published February 1, 2002 by Indiana University Press. 360 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Life in Stalinist Russia

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

and whereas “American” was not an officially recognized nationality, “Jewish” was.) The author did not allow these slights to pass unchallenged, and in these pages she reveals herself to have been a spirited fighter, unafraid of asserting her rights to a succession of Soviet bureaucrats who must ...

| Read Full Review of My Life in Stalinist Russia: ...

Rate this book!

Add Review