|All Them Cornfields|
This is a resonant and highly personal story about the vanished world of the U.S.S.R. For more than 40 years this extraordinary country was the centre of John Miller’s working life as a foreign correspondent. He went to the Soviet Union at the height of the East-West Cold War and some of the big stories of the 20th century such as the Great Spy Game, the U-2 drama, the Cuban Missile Crisis and much more besides were played out in front of his notebook.
This book is packed with vivid, wonderfully observed and intriguing details of everyday life in the Soviet Union such as shortages, dealing with the KGB as well as with bedbugs and cockroaches, censorship, living in a Moscow flat with a rabbit called Floppy, drunkenness, dissidents and death.
It is filled with scenes of the Lubyanka, the Lenin Mausoleum, the Kremlin’s fabulous St George Hall, the Novodevichi cemetery, the haunted house of secret police chief Lavrenti Beria, and more... It is as thickly populated as a Russian novel with heroes such as Andrei Sakharov and Boris Pasternak and villains including Nikita Khrushchev, Kim Philby and General Ivan ‘The Butcher’ Serov.
The many photographs also tell the story of John Miller and his family’s life and times in the Soviet Union. And as the title of the book indicates, his sense of humour never deserted him.
John Miller co-authored ‘The Day we almost Bombed Moscow’ and collaborated on ‘The Cruellest Night’ the story of the sinking of the William Gustloft, the world’s worst sea disaster . His novel ‘The Chamdo Raid’ is set in Tibet. He lives in Southwold, Suffolk, with his wife and has produced two local books, ‘The Best of Southwold’ and ‘Southwold in Old Photographs’.
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