Vasily Grossman: Loser, Saint | The New Yorker

There are echoes here of the sclerotic cruelties, mass killing and frightened conformity of Putin’s Russia, which makes Life and Fate especially compelling now. But Grossman’s portrait is timelessly relevant. Tolstoy refused to describe War and Peace as either novel or history; it explained an era. Grossman does the same, illuminating why people are moved to savagery or sacrifice.

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