Comrade Huppert

Comrade Huppert

A Poet in Stalin's World
George Huppert
Distribution: World
Publication date: 3/9/2016
Format: cloth 176 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-01978-3
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Description

After discovering the autobiography of the Austrian communist and writer Hugo Huppert (1902–1982), historian George Huppert became absorbed in the life and work of this man, a Jew, perhaps a relative, who was born a few months after George’s father and grew up just miles away. Hugo seemed to embody a distinctly central European experience of his time, of people trapped between Hitler and Stalin. Using the unvarnished account found in Hugo’s notebooks, George Huppert takes the reader on a tour of the writer’s life from his provincial youth to his education and radicalization in Vienna; to Moscow where he meets Mayakovski and where he is imprisoned during Stalin’s purges; through the difficult war years and return to Vienna; to his further struggles with the communist party and his blossoming as a writer in the 1950s. Through all the twists and turns of this story, George remains a faithful presence, guiding the way and placing Hugo’s remarkable life in context. Comrade Huppert is a story of displacement and exile, the price of party loyalty, and the toll of war and terror on the mind of this emblematic figure.

Author Bio

George Huppert is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of several books, including The Idea of Perfect History: Historical Erudition and Historical Philosophy in Renaissance France; The Style of Paris: Renaissance Origins of the French Enlightenment (IUP, 1999); After the Black Death: A Social History of Early Modern Europe (IUP, 1986); and Les Bourgeois Gentilshommes: An Essay on the Definition of Elites in Renaissance France.

Reviews

"What a story! Right from the beginning this elegantly written book captures the reader's attention with fascinating characters, colorful and intelligent observations on life in central/eastern Europe in the first half of the 20th century, and a vivid portrait of the revolutionary atmosphere of the time." —Mirjam Zadoff, Indiana University-Bloomington

"Comrade Huppert is a very interesting and complicated figure—and that is why this little book is such a fascinating read. Known in Germany and Austria as the translator of Mayakovski and as a specialist in Russian expressionist literature, Huppert is representative of those intellectuals who joined the communist movement after World War I and became involved in party history and conflicts during the Stalin era, before finishing on this or that side of the line after World War II. . . . A study of a true believer, caught between his Austrian-Jewish origins and his communist world view, his acquired Russian identity and his literary ambitions, his illusions and the world he encountered." —Peter Schöttler, Free University Berlin

"
Of interest to scholars of Austrian literature and history. . ." —Kirkus Reviews

"Deftly tracing Hugo Huppert's improbable path from Jewish Galicia to Soviet Moscow to postwar Vienna, George Huppert . . . anchors this account in his own experience. . ." —Choice

"The addition of illuminating historical context to Hugo’s narrative is George’s most significant contribution." —On the Seawall

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