The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin’s Russia

A New York Times Notable Book, 1997

The lavishly illustrated and often darkly hilarious retelling of Soviet history through the doctored photographs under Stalin.

The Commissar Vanishes has been hailed as a brilliant, indispensable record of an era. The Commissar Vanishes offers a unique and chilling look at how one man–Joseph Stalin–manipulated the science of photography to advance his own political career and erase the memory of his victims. Over the past thirty years David King has assembled the world’s largest archive of doctored Soviet photographs, the best of which appear here, in a book Tatyana Tolstaya, in The New York Review of Books, called “an extraordinary, incomparable volume.”

Book Matters

You know, how come livejournal posts have a “Music:” field but no “Reading:” field? That’s just unfair.

What am I reading now? Two books. “Bad Boy Ballmer: The Man Who Rules Microsoft ” and “The Book on the Bookshelf” (thanks ) . Wait, no three books. I am also reading “Out of Their Minds: The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer Scientists

I’ve just finished “Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure” and “Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside ” (thanks ). Good, good stuff.

“Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire” , “Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time” and “Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters: What I Learned in Ten Years As a Microsoft Programmer” are on their way. Mmmmmm.

You know what, I have not even read that much science fiction lately. And I haven’t read anything in Russian lately.

One exception though. The last book in Russian that I’ve read was «ÐšÐ«Ð¡Ð¬» by Tatyana Tolstaya. Ha, it’s translated as “The Slynx“. On preorder. Gotta get it.

Checked today what’s new in NESFA press – they republish good old science fiction. “Dimensions of Sheckley:The Short Novels of Robert Sheckley”. Still no Kuttner anthology. Too bad.