Call it resilience, grit, or just perseverance – it takes a special sort of person to have survived the last 100 years of Russian and Soviet history.
The 22 heroes in this volume were all born in 1917 – Russia’s year of revolution – somewhere within the bounds of the Russian empire as it then existed. They lived through Civil War, Collectivization, World War II, the Cold War, and the collapse of the USSR. Indeed, their lives are a living reflection of the past Russian century, and their stories show us a side of history not available in any other resource.
The authors of this project sought out these centenarians for months, then traveled over 20,000 kilometers across Russia and Eastern Europe, from sprawling metropolises to tiny villages, capturing poignant images, moving life stories, and stunning video. This book is the fruit of those efforts.
The subjects’ stories are recounted largely in their own voices, from transcripted interviews, and accompanied by photos taken in 2017, as well as family photos and documents from throughout their lives.
“Each of these stories is different, but all of them are tales of survival... of heart and courage... of family and community... of resilience.”
–From the authors’ introduction
Also be sure to check out the short documentary film created as part of this project.
"By assembling these intimate memories of 'ordinary' people, the book offers a glimpse into 'Russianness' and a collective history of this often-troubled nation."
– Pamela Polston, Seven Days newspaper