At a glance:
- Author: Vladimir Voinovich
- First Published: 1979
- Type of Work: Short story
- Genres: Short fiction, Satire, Political fiction
- Subjects: Dictators, World War II, Politicians, Moscow, Soviet Union or Soviets, Heads of state, Puzzles
“A Circle of Friends,” a story in the collection In Plain Russian: Stories, is set in the Kremlin on the night of June 21, 1941, a few hours before Germany invaded Russia. Joseph Stalin has cultivated an image as a tireless servant of his people, but actually his silhouette before a lighted office window is a foam-rubber dummy. His moustache and pipe are props intended to make him look avuncular. Stalin actually lives in a doorless, windowless room reached by crawling through a safe with a door at both ends. His need for the companionship of a woman is...
(The entire page is 655 words.)
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