"A true story told through the memoirs of Victor Kramchaninov and his family, these memoirs are a 20th Century Ukrainian odyssey that spans both World Wars, the rise and fall of Stalin and the Iron Curtain, and the failed experiment of Soviet Communism. Born of a chance encounter between two physicians at an International Symposium on High-Altitude Medical Science in Japan in 1991, the memoirs were translated by Dr. Tatiana Kramchaninova-Serebrovska (Victor's daughter), and edited by Dr. John Jack Reeves from the United States. This personal view into 70 tumultuous years of Soviet times hopes to provide understanding for the West about Ukrainian history, why Soviet Communism arose, why it long persisted, and why it fell. The birth, life, and death of the Soviet Union, taken together, may be the principal events of world history in the twentieth century. How did it happen that millions would have their hopes raised, sustained, and then dashed? Following the 1917 October Revolution, popular support for Soviet Communism grew into an enormous experiment. By the final decade of the century, the experiment had failed and the Soviet Union had been dissolved. Theintervening, tumultuous seven decades saw Stalin's assumption of power and his collectivization of agriculture, followed by famines, purges, World War II, the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan, the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, Ukrainian independence, and economic depression. Fordecades the Soviet people obeyed the laws, farmed the land, fought the battles, and suffered abuse, poverty and hunger - believing that with persistence, they would ultimately become the happiest people on earth. These memoirs by Viktor Kramchaninov and his family tell of their beliefs, hopes and feelings and also of their struggles, both for survival and with Communist Party dogma. The Kramchaninov family paint a picture of life before, during, and after Soviet times." --Provided by publisher.