The Forsaken: An American Tragedy In Stalin's Russia by Tim TzouliadisThe Forsaken: An American Tragedy In Stalin's Russia by Tim Tzouliadis

The Forsaken: An American Tragedy In Stalin's Russia

byTim Tzouliadis

Paperback | June 30, 2009

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A remarkable piece of forgotten history- the never-before-told story of Americans lured to Soviet Russia by the promise of jobs and better lives, only to meet tragic ends

In 1934, a photograph was taken of a baseball team. These two rows of young men look like any group of American ballplayers, except perhaps for the Russian lettering on their jerseys. The players have left their homeland and the Great Depression in search of a better life in Stalinist Russia, but instead they will meet tragic and, until now, forgotten fates. Within four years, most of them will be arrested alongside untold numbers of other Americans. Some will be executed. Others will be sent to "corrective labor" camps where they will be worked to death. This book is the story of lives-the forsaken who died and those who survived.

Based on groundbreaking research, The Forsaken is the story of Americans whose dreams were shattered and lives lost in Stalinist Russia.
Born in Athens, Timotheos Tzouladis was raised in England. A graduate of Oxford, he subsequently pursued a career as a documentary filmmaker and television journalist whose work has appeared on NBC and National Geographic television. He lives in London.
Title:The Forsaken: An American Tragedy In Stalin's RussiaFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:448 pages, 8.41 × 5.5 × 0.94 inShipping dimensions:8.41 × 5.5 × 0.94 inPublished:June 30, 2009Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143115421

ISBN - 13:9780143115427


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well-researched But Fails to Capture the Significance I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Forsaken" as more of a non-fiction narrative of previously suppressed information. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there have been many more secrets uncovered by scholars and journalists searching through the archives, and there appears to be much more that still remains uncovered. As a micro-history, Tzouliadis achieves the goal of highlighting the plight of Americans abandoned by their government and left to suffer the horrors of the Soviet gulags. As far as context, Tzouliadis does rely mostly on secondary literature. Although, I found his narrative engaging, stories of people like Thomas Sgovio, Tzouliadis failed to capture the overall historical significance beyond the obvious suffering of select individuals. For example, since the Bolshevik revolution, many Americans (mostly self-identified socialists) have migrated (voluntarily and forced) to the USSR. And as early as 1923, when Emma Goldman published her scathing memoir "My Disillusionment in Russia," the repression and violence of the Bolsheviks has been well-documented, none of which is mentioned by Tzouliadis. Again, as individual stories go, "The Forsaken" explains the desperation of the Americans who sought to help from their government, but he fails to capture the true horror of the gulags in the way Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did in his seminal text "Gulag Archipelago." For an interesting non-fiction read, "The Forsaken" is a riveting account of hope and betrayal. The writing is easy to follow, and the facts are spot on. However, the book is pretty thin in terms of historical interpretation and significance.
Date published: 2009-08-19

Editorial Reviews

" The horror that was Stalinist Russia is still incomprehensible to many Americans . . . Reading this book is certain to open their eyes." -Richard Pipes, The New York Sun " Gripping and important . . . an extremely impressive book." -Noel Malcolm, Telegraph (London) " Tzouliadis's clear, strong narrative discloses the terrible fates which awaited those . . . who wandered into the Soviet sphere. . . . [A] grim, brilliantly told story." -Financial Times