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The Unwomanly Face of War

An Oral History of Women in World War II
Durée : 14 h et 18 min
2 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

A long-awaited English translation of the groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia - from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the 20th century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of "a new kind of literary genre", describing her work as "a history of emotions...a history of the soul".

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women - more than a million in total - were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.

Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than 100 towns to record these women's stories. Together this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war - the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories.

Translated by the renowned Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Unwomanly Face of War is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the 20th century, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war.

"But why? I asked myself more than once. Why, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history? Their words and feelings? They did not believe themselves. A whole world is hidden from us. Their war remains unknown...I want to write the history of that war. A women's history." (Svetlana Alexievich)

©2017 Svetlana Alexievich (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critiques

"Alexievich's artistry has raised oral history to a totally different dimension. It is no wonder that her brilliant obsession with what Vasily Grossman called 'the brutal truth of war' was suppressed for so long by Soviet censors, because her unprecedented pen portraits and interviews reveal the face of war hidden by propaganda." (Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege)
"Whatever you thought you knew about the war, you should put it aside and listen to the voices here." ( Library Journal)

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Image de profile pour Annette Sussman
  • Annette Sussman
  • 13/11/2017

Oral history at its finest

Listening to this book brought home the horrendous experience of war, particularly for women in the Soviet Union in World War II. The vivid recollections were at times painful to listen to, but important to hear. There are some books which to me have more impact when listened to rather than when read on a page. This is one of them. A monumental work!

8 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour R. T. Pirtle
  • R. T. Pirtle
  • 27/04/2018

Required Reading

Once you get into this it's impossible to stop listening. The work was years in the making and survived Soviet censors and years where it was unwise to criticize the government. This is well worth your time. There are frightening parallels between this period in history and the present. This is not written with that in mind but is there nonetheless.

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour dazzleink
  • dazzleink
  • 06/04/2018

Immersive and Devastating

I alternated between being mesmerized, repulsed, heavy with sorrow, and uplifted by the accounts of the women who suffered through the horrors of war on the battleground and behind the scenes. The uncomfortable truth yet aching humanity in every story kept me tied to this audiobook for weeks. I had to pace myself between some of the more horrifying stories. But, at the same time, I am grateful to Svetlana for putting these powerful stories to paper. They are stunning reminders that war, glorified in victory stories and decorations, has a horrible side of hatred, death, and suffering, but human kindness and beauty can still find its way through.

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  • Neeraj S.
  • 20/12/2017

Should be compulsory reading

This should be required reading for every school. After reading this no one in their right mind can declare war .

8 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour Swarmy Barnacles
  • Swarmy Barnacles
  • 06/10/2017

the best book about war I've ever read

I'm a combat vet, and I've never thought to consider the role women played in World War II, especially in the Russian army. the voices and stories of these women are incredibly moving, beautiful and horrifying at once. Love, loss, hatred, and Redemption. this book and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee are the two most important books I have ever read.

do yourself a favor and read this or listen to this.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 08/07/2019

Masterpiece

I am old enough to have read many hundreds of books on World War 2. Everyone in the world should read this one. There is a reason why this book underpins a Nobel Prize. I believe the performance does justice to the greatness of this work.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour Tom Barreiros
  • Tom Barreiros
  • 07/09/2018

An inspiring story of Soviet Women at War

This is a deeply ennobling and inspiring, if at times harrowing, account of Soviet women at war. The narration is authentic to the times, with the accent emphasized. It makes it seem like you are actually listening to Russian, Ukrainian, and Soviet women tell about their experiences. There are lots of great individual stories found in this book. Its tragic and heartbreaking, but worth the read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. H. Robinson
  • 24/10/2017

impressive and moving

Powerful stories. Amazing depth and span of narratives. Highly recommended for all interested in the history of WWII and Soviet studies.

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour InspiredFam
  • InspiredFam
  • 03/10/2017

Remarkable Stories by a Gifted Story Teller

This is the second captivating book by this author that I have read. Personal accounts from women who fought as Soviet snipers and artillery personnel as well as from women medics and nurses in WWII are poignant and often heartbreaking. It would be interesting to hear contemporary women who serve in the military compare their experiences to those of Soviet women who fought 75 years ago.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alice Sirois
  • 19/10/2018

Should be required reading for Military and high school seniors

Not an easy read but we can’t forget history. Slow start but keep reading. The stories seemed to be repeated.

2 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.