Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sunday Salon October 5, 2008

Murderers in Mausoleum, Riding the Back Roads of Empire Between Moscow and Beijing

by Jeffrey Tayler
Publishing Date Jan. 27, 2009

Reading Murderers in Mausoleums, you will gain a vital understanding of Russia and China; their culture, their ideals, their fears, their struggles as our global neighbors. Jeffrey Tayler, is a correspondent whose purpose in writing the book is to find out for himself how the people who were once the oppressed are now viewing a renaissance taking place in their countries. He also wants to talk with the people deep within the country, to get a sense of how they feel about the West, especially the United States. What he hears will astonish you.

The book is a journal of his 7,200 mile trip that begins in Red Square and ends in Tiananmen Square. Travel is undeniably a hardship with many obstacles to overcome. Schedules are not always followed. Passports are checked with no consistency. The ubiquitous guards perusing papers will often hold Tayler for a payoff, or just to be officious and obnoxious. He endures extreme hostile climatic conditions, stress from potential threats to his life and difficult barriers that others would not have crossed. I applaud with my deepest respect his valiant pursuit to achieve his goal. Some areas he visited he claims no westerner has ever seen. Amazing!

Tayler uncovers spectacular lies told and perpetuated throughout Russian history. Tayler pays close attention as a citizen of Karaganda, ( the second largest city in Kazakhstan) discusses when coal was discovered in his town during Stalin’s reign. The story of Karaganda is a sorrowful one and amazingly a work camp called Karlag, created by Stalin did not close until 1958. This cover-up speaks to the cruelty and prejudice of Stalin’s nature which is an astonishing story to read.

Murderers in Mausoleums a reference to the leaders who we know now were murderers, not rulers, has the excitement of a novel. At the same time it contains a valuable visual and oral history. This plurality creates a harmonious balance that should capture the attention of those readers who shun history books. Jeffrey Tayler the transcontinental traveler who stops at nothing to get an interview offers a rare insiders look from so far away. Shocking and alluring, this book offers both. Highly recommended.

In the notebook...

1.If you like Children's Literature see Saturday's Blog for seasonal selections.
2.Don't forget to enter a comment so that you will be entered in the raffle for Gap Creek, Drawing to take place October 8th midnight..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

History that reads like a novel sounds like a winning combination all right. Thanks for this review.