Leningrad : the epic siege of World War II, 1941-1944

From  Eileen  Effrat
Author:  Anna Reid
Leningrad : the epic siege of World War II, 1941-1944 
Thirty years ago I read Harrison Salisbury’s 900 Days, about the siege of Leningrad during World War II.  Since that monumental publication, the   archives of Russia, Germany, and Great Britain have opened to reveal more details.  Diaries, interviews and memoirs of those who experienced the siege first-hand have now come to light.   Using these new sources, Reid strips away decades of Soviet propaganda.  Her work is a testament to Soviet incompetence, corruption and stupidity. What is revealed is a bungling bureaucracy, where   the official fears of doing the wrong thing lead to doing NOTHING. What is so vividly portrayed is the regimes total disregard for human life. While the German bombardment wrecked havoc on the city, the Soviet   NKVD continued to imprison and execute thousands for the most trivial reasons.  As the siege raged, Leningrad’s citizen resorted to cannibalism to stay alive.   Yet for all the horrors this book conveys,   Reid reveals stories of individual fortitude, compassion and humanity during one of history’s most horrific sieges.