Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War

TitleZinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsAleksievich, Svetlana
Number of Pages197
PublisherW.W. Norton & Co.
CityNew York
Abstract

From 1979 to 1989 a million Soviet troops engaged in a devastating war in Afghanistan that claimed 50,000 casualties - and the youth and humanity of many tens of thousands more. In Zinky Boys journalist Svetlana Alexievich gives voice to the tragic history of the Afghanistan War. What emerges is a story that is shocking in its brutality and revelatory in its similarities to the American experience in Vietnam - a resemblance that Larry Heinemann describes in his introduction to the book, providing American readers with an often uncomfortably intimate connection to a war that may have seemed very remote to them. The Soviet dead were shipped back in sealed zinc coffins (hence the term "Zinky Boys"), while the state denied the very existence of the conflict. Creating controversy and outrage when it was first published in the USSR. It was called by reviewers there a "slanderous piece of fantasy" and part of a "hysterical chorus of malign attacks"–Zinky Boys presents the candid and affecting testimony of the officers and grunts, nurses and prostitutes, mothers, sons, and daughters who describe the war and its lasting effects. 

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25964817

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