Quick Study: Historian Edvard Radzinsky is well-known in Russia as a popular historian, television personality, playwright, and screenwriter.
The Radzinsky File: Radzinsky has written several dozen books about Russian history and won numerous Russian awards, many from the Russian TV industry. His histories about such figures as Joseph Stalin and the last tsar, Nicholas II, have been translated into English. Radzinsky’s three-volume novel, Koba’s Apocalypse, about Joseph Stalin and twentieth-century history, began its phased release in March 2012.
Psssst………: In an interview on Echo of Moscow radio, Radzinsky declared that he has always been a Bonapartist and that Napoleon is, for him, the “embodiment of a great man.” Also: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis edited Radzinsky’s The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II.
Radzinsky’s Places: Moscow
The Word on Radzinsky: Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote of Radzinsky’s Stalin book that “I think the main merit of Edvard Radzinsky’s book is that in the book Stalin isn’t a sculpture or a giant statue at the entrance of the Volga-Don Canal, but a living person.”
Radzinsky on Radzinsky: When asked on Echo of Moscow why he writes biographies of dictators instead of good leaders, Radzinsky responded, in part, that, “They’re closer to me. Do you understand? It’s probably fortunate for people that I didn’t take up politics. They [dictators] are probably closer for me in some way. Beyond that, they’re creatures that live there, on history’s Olympus. With lightning and all those thunder clouds alongside them. They’re scary people. It’s incredibly interesting to write about them.”
On Writing: In an interview with Dmitry Bykov about his trilogy on Stalin, Radzinsky said, “Writing about Stalin is exceptionally interesting if only because that era is a sunken Atlantis and artists should resurrect its disappeared way of life, that life of constant tragifarce. It’s rather difficult for historians to work here because, for the historian, ‘step to the right, step to the left’ – a step away from the documents—is considered running from the truth! But how can you write about an era when there are hardly any truthful documents? They were destroyed or falsified.”
Photo Credit: Kremlin.ru