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Stalin’s favourite play

By Tom Streithorst  

Why should he have spared Bulgakov?

Stalin’s favourite play, The White Guard, opens next week in London and it is magnificent. No, don’t worry, it’s not about tractors, or Stakhanovite workers, or even the glorious Red army. Quite the contrary. The play is an ode to the bourgeois intelligentsia destroyed by the revolution. The Bolsheviks come out very badly, described as men “with no name, no past, no love… born of loneliness and frustration.” So why did Stalin admire this play,…

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