One of the most exciting books to come out of Russia since the breaking down of barriers to the West in 1991. The Soviet Government was extraordinarily secretive about details of its domestic and foreign policy, yet it preserved a detailed and accurate record of its workings sealed in secret files. Jana Howlett and Rudolph Pikhoia have unique access to these recently declassified files and to the personal files of fifty key soviet statesmen, including Stalin, Krushchev and Gorbachev. In the light of these documents, Howlett and Pikhoia have painted a dramatic and personalised new history of Russia in the twentieth century. Among other important discoveries, "A New History of Russia in the Twentieth Century" brings to light a six volume NKVD report on the last days of Hitler and Eva Braun; documents which could have been potent-ially embarassing to the party, such as reports on the Katyn massacre of Polish officers.
The book also gives insights into major personalities: a copy of Krushchev's CV; a memo from the Party's Central Committee to Raisa Gorbachev telling her not to flash around her gold "American Express" card so much on her trips abroad; and doodles made by Trotsky illustrating Stalin's attacks on him in meetings are revealed for the first time.
Rudolf Pikhoia is the State Archivist of Russian, Head of the Russian state Archival Service. Jana Howlett is a fellow of Jesus College and lecturer in the Slavonic Department in the University of Cambridge.