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Koba the Dread

He was one of the worst monsters of history, responsible for more than 20 million deaths, but his atrocities and his victims are obscured in the public memory and some admirers still sing his praises. Iosef Vissarionovich, known to the world by his nickname Stalin, or “Man of Steel,” is the subject of Martin Amis's Koba the Dread (the title comes from Stalin's childhood nickname, Koba). The book is part history, part personal odyssey. Amis weaves together an account of Stalin's horrors with reflections about Stalin apologists in the West, many of them his friends and acquaintances. One was his father, the late writer Kingsley Amis, who was a Communist in his youth before winding up a right-wing Tory. Amis is amazed by how some socialists ignored the reports about Stalin's butchery and praised the USSR as a worker's paradise.

Amis is strongest in his depictions of life under Stalin. He writes that the state declared war on its own people and the value of human life collapsed. Fearing the independent-minded Ukrainians, Stalin decided to break the back of their peasantry by taking their grain at gunpoint. The result was the Ukrainian Holocaust, which claimed 5 to 10 million lives. Many resorted to cannibalism, with some parents eating their own children. Tens of millions of others from Ukraine and beyond were sent to concentration camps in frozen Siberia for imagined political crimes. There, the average life expectancy was two years. Even Stalin's own relatives and the wives and children of his top officials were not spared; many were shot and sent to the camps. In Koba the Dread Amis rekindles memory of the tragedies, challenging a famous statement attributed to Stalin: “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” --Alex Roslin

Koba the Dread

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  • Details

    Laughter and the Twenty Million

    Auteur: Martin Amis

    Uitgever: Alfred A. Knopf

    ISBN: 9780676975178

    Taal: Engels

    Bindwijze: Gebonden met stofomslag

    Verschijningsdatum: 2002

    Aantal pagina's: 306

  • Tweedehands exemplaar

    In zeer goede staat

'Het zou mooi zijn boeken te kopen als we de tijd om ze te lezen erbij konden kopen, maar meestal verwart men het kopen van boeken met het toe-eigenen van de inhoud ervan.'

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

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