Actor Tom Hanks spoke in Seattle yesterday, Dec. 6, 2017, to appear at an event for the "Seattle Arts Lecture" at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.
Hanks was asked by the moderator what book he was reading right now and his answer caught the attention of the KVI staff. He responded with "Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s", by Sheila Fitzpatrick.
KVI's Kirby Wilbur tells listeners he has read this book. It's described on Amazon thusly:
Here is a pioneering account of everyday life under Stalin, written by a leading authority on modern Russian history. Focusing on the urban population, Fitzpatrick depicts a world of privation, overcrowding, endless lines, and broken homes, in which the regime's promises of future socialist abundance rang hollowly. We read of a government bureaucracy that often turned life into a nightmare, and of how ordinary citizens tried to circumvent it. We also read of the secret police, whose constant surveillance was endemic at this time, and the waves of terror, like the Great Purges of 1937, which periodically cast society into turmoil.
The book description hits at the heart of concerns about Seattle's political shift toward open socialism which is a continuing subject for KVI's John Carlson and Wilbur.
Upon hearing Tom Hanks is reading this book about Stalinism, Wilbur stated on the air, "Wow, that's an interesting book that Hanks is reading. Hmmm, maybe there's hope (for Hollywood types). It's a great book. I highly recommend it."
Hanks appearance at the Seattle Arts Lecture was to promote his new book of short stories.