Stalin's Meteorologist

Stalin's Meteorologist

One Man's Untold Story of Love, Life, and Death

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"In 1934, the highly respected head of the Soviet Union's meteorology department, Alexei Feodosievich Wangenheim, was suddenly arrested without cause and taken to a gulag. Less than a year after being hailed by Stalin as a national hero, he ended up with thousands of other 'political prisoners' in a camp on an island in the north, under vast skies and surrounded by water that was, for more than six months of the year, a sheet of motionless ice. He was violently executed in 1937--a fact kept from his family for nearly 20 years. Olivier Rolin masterfully weaves together Alexei's story and his eventual fate, drawing on an archive of letters and delicate drawings of the natural world which Wangenheim sent to his family from prison. Tragically, Wangenheim never stopped believing in the Revolution. Maintaining that he'd been incarcerated by accident, that any day Stalin would find out and free him--his stubbornness suffuses the narrative with tension, and offers insight as to how he survived an impossible situation for so long. Stalin's Meteorologist is a fascinating work which casts light on the devastating consequences of politically inspired paranoia and the mindlessness and trauma of totalitarianism--relevant revelations for our time"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Berkeley, California : Counterpoint, 2017.
Edition: First Counterpoint hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781619027817
Branch Call Number: 365.45 ROL
Characteristics: 179 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Schwartz, Ros - Translator


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 06, 2018

It didn’t matter who you were, Stalin’s paranoia could reach you, send you marching down into the cells of Lubyanka, and onward into the gulag of the north. Alexei Feodosievich Wangenheim was a true believer in the revolution, a respected scientist, the creator of the first nationwide Russian weather agency, but nothing of the sort would save him or millions of others. Tragic, but a near-certain by-product of left-wing utopianists: There’s always someone needing to be eliminated.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TSCPL

To Top