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10 December 2018

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Book Review

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Bondarchuk's War and Peace

by Denise J. Youngblood (University Press of Kansas, $29.95)

A behind the curtain look at the epic (7-hour) film based on Tolstoy’s novel. Youngblood (on RL’s Advisory Board) uncovers the fascinating history behind the making of the film, and examines the work from all angles: how it was a tool of “soft power” in the Cold War, what it tells us about Soviet views of themselves and their history, and why it is a great adaptation of the novel – one so good that it went on to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. And it cost “just” $700 million in current dollars! Great for anyone with an interest in the novel, in Soviet film, or in the history of the War of 1812, which is well-woven into the narrative.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2015