The Millions

Stalin’s Scheherazade: Was Nobel Prize-Winner Mikhail Sholokhov a Brilliant Writer or a Communist Con Man?

Stalin’s Russia was full of self-promoting con-men with invented personas, ambitious intellectuals with questionable credentials, and audacious imposters who for a time succeeded in both faking it and making it. Even some of the highest officials of the Communist Party were revolutionary improvisers lacking either the experience or training to do what history demanded of them. (1905?- 1984) can be viewed as the most talented and successful of them all. Rising from obscure, rural origins, he impersonated a great writer long enough to truly become one. He earned the admiration of Joseph Stalin. Sholokhov gamed the most important mark in the Soviet Union. Or was it perhaps the other way around?

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Millions

The Millions6 min read
Tuesday New Release Day: Starring Russell, Wang, Hanif, Greene, and More
The books we're looking forward to reading next, including stories of contemporary China, Karen Russell's latest, and a stunning memoir about loss and love. The post Tuesday New Release Day: Starring Russell, Wang, Hanif, Greene, and More appeared fi
The Millions6 min read
The True Crime Story That (Might Have) Inspired Nabokov to Write ‘Lolita’
What if the young girl from Camden was the model for the nymphet from Ramsdale? Who was Sally Horner? Who is Dolores Haze? The post The True Crime Story That (Might Have) Inspired Nabokov to Write ‘Lolita’ appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions9 min read
Sacred Trash: How to Dismantle a Library
We yield to our directive. We kill, destroy. We throw out the Jewish canon. The post Sacred Trash: How to Dismantle a Library appeared first on The Millions.