Maisky was distinguished by his great sociability and access to the key players in British public life. Wells , and indeed royalty. His diary further reveals the role personal rivalries within the Kremlin played in the formulation of Soviet policy at the time. Scrupulously edited and checked against a vast range of Russian and Western archival evidence, this extraordinary narrative diary offers a fascinating revision of the events surrounding the Second World War.
Watch a video about Ivan Maisky here.
A triumph of meticulous scholarship and enlightened publishing. Sparkled amid his fascinating observations of momentous developments is some delightful gossip, to which Maisky was addicted. This is a must-read for aficionados of diplomatic history and especially of interwar British high society. Like Colville, Maisky had genuine literary talent as well as the ability constantly to be at the right place at the right time.
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THE MAISKY DIARIES: Red Ambassador to the Court of St James's 1932-1943
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Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. In a survey, presidential historians ranked Dwight D.
Maisky Diaries Red Ambassador by Gabriel Gorodetsky - AbeBooks
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Red Ambassador to the Court of St James's, 1932-1943
The terror and purges of Stalin's Russia in the s discouraged Soviet officials from leaving documentary records, let alone keeping personal diaries. A remarkable exception is the unique diary assiduously kept by Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London between and This selection from Maisky's diary grippingly documents Britain's drift to war during the s, appeasement in the Munich era, negotiations leading to the signature of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, Churchill's rise to power, the German invasion of Russia, and the intense debate over the opening of the second front.
Maisky was distinguished by his great sociability and access to the key players in British public life. Among his range of regular contacts were politicians, press barons, ambassadors, intellectuals, writers, and indeed royalty. His diary further reveals the role personal rivalries within the Kremlin played in the formulation of Soviet policy at the time. Scrupulously edited and checked against a vast range of Russian and Western archival evidence, this extraordinary narrative diary offers a fascinating revision of the events surrounding the Second World War. But Maisky was not a diplomat in the mold of Vyacheslav Molotov or Andrei Gromyko, but was an urbane, cultured, outgoing and friendly man who became a close fried to many of those already in power or coming into power in Great Britain and that makes his diaries not only helpful in understanding what happened during the s in a historic sense but also helps understand how the Soviet Union understood those events and hence some of the actions that it took.
Maisky became familiar enough with people like Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden to become a regular dining companion and his insights into the character of the people he met, their actions and the politics surrounding the time are essential to a real understanding of how many foreigners viewed both the individuals and their actions and provide one of the best insights into why the Soviet Union did not trust Great Britain and why they felt it took so long for the West to establish a second front. I am not suggesting that Maisky was right, only that the book explains much about the Soviet thinking concerning these actions.
The book is well constructed with each period being proceeded by an explanation of the historic events being covered, then with the diary entries covering those events and sometimes with a following section summarizing some important event s. The coverage is sometimes a bit spotty as Maisky did not create diary entries every day, but only when he thought sometime was important enough to warrant them.
This construction, with an explanation followed by the diary entries, works very well, but also provides one of the most annoying characteristics of the narration. His Welch accent for Lloyd George, his American accent for Ambassador Kennedy and President Roosevelt are quite good and he is generally a pleasure to listen to and I have no problem giving this book 5 stars.
This book would be a valuable source for anyone interested in the events leading up to and during the first years of World War II.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why? Its an interesting story, well told.
- Maisky Diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St James's, 1932-1943!
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The man risked his life by keeping the diary after all. What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative? Maisky was caught between two worlds. Moscow didnt understand London, and didnt want to. He was an effective ambassador, but his very effectiveness made him suspicious.
He goes into charachter periodically, for example with Churchill.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry? No, I knew the history.
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But getting it though Maiskys eyes made all the difference. Any additional comments?