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Book or film on Soviet Russia before reading Animal Farm

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Does anyone have a recommendation for a book to read before Animal Farm, that is a brief and simple history of the Russian Revolution, or early Soviet days...


If you have a longer one, I'd still be interested for a little later this year, so share that too if you have one you like!  But in the next few weeks I'd like to have something manageable. 


Thanks so much!



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A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch


The Gulag Archipelago is awesome, but anything but brief. 


I recommended Burnt by the Sun (movie) in another thread last week, and I'm going to recommend it again here. That is one of my favorite films of all time. 

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Actually, for background to a work of literature, I think that reading a short article or essay that very specifically targets the key historical people and events can be the most helpful place to start. The Sparknotes context article is actually quite succinct and helpful. :) Also this chart lining up key historical events with the book, and this K12 guide might be helpful.


Here's the Wikipedia article that is a short overview of the Russian Revolution


And here are non-fiction books on the Russian Revolution:

Simple History: The Russian Revolution (Turner) -- probably way too simplistic for your needs 

Wicked History: Joseph Stalin (McCollum)


BEST of luck finding what you need! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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