The gift of books, Gulag edition

Thinking about President Obama’s announcement of our new policy toward Cuba, I would like to take the liberty of adding a few books to my holiday list for Power Line readers.

Armando Valladares, Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag. A great, inspirational memoir: the passion of Armando Valladares, kept in print by our friends at Encounter Books.

Alexander Dolgun, Alexander Dolgun’s Story: An American in the Gulag. I have found this to be among the most accessible of the memoirs of life in the Soviet Gulag, perhaps because Dolgun was an American.

Fan Shen, Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard. Jay Nordlinger describes it as “a book of stunning power” and adds: “Gang of One is a high literary achievement, documenting an even greater achievement, by which I mean the life of this awe-inspiring man, Fan Shen.” Jay subsequently noted: “Frankly, his memoirs are among the best I’ve ever read.”

Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. An account of the United States ambassador to Germany at the time of Hitler’s rise, this book raises the questions: what would you have thought? what would you have said? what would you have done? I offered ten notes on the book here.

President Obama — we know what he has said and done. He stands with anti-American thugs and tyrants all over the world, and always has.

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