Was my father stupid to 'serve Stalin' for 50 years?
Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Thu Sep 12 09:36:06 MDT 2002
Seumas Milne on Martin Amis in todday's Guardian:
The battle for history
The now routine equation of Stalin and Hitler both distorts the past and
limits the future
Thursday September 12, 2002
It would be easy to dismiss the controversy over the latest Martin Amis
offering as little more than a salon tiff among self-referential literati.
His book, Koba the Dread, follows a well-trodden political path. An
excoriation of Lenin, Stalin and communism in general (interlaced with
long-simmering spats with his once communist father Kingsley and radical
friend Christopher Hitchens), it is intended to be a savage indictment of
the left for its supposed inability to acknowledge the crimes committed in
its name. Strong on phrasemaking, the book is painfully short on sources or
social and historical context. The temptation might be to see it as simply a
sign that the one-time enfant terrible of the London literary scene was
reliving his father's descent into middle-aged blimpishness.
That would be a mistake. Amis's book is in reality only the latest
contribution to the rewriting of history that began in the dying days of the
Soviet Union and has intensified since its collapse.
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