In the Shadow of Stalin: The Story of Mr. Jones

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Pub Date 3 Sep 2024 | Archive Date 14 Aug 2024

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Can the unrelenting power of truth expose one of Stalin’s greatest crimes to a world that refuses to bear witness? From journalist and screenwriter Andrea Chalupa (host of the hit podcast Gaslist Nation and writer of Orwell and the Refugees: The Untold Story of Animal Farm) and artist Ivan Rodrigues, this powerful new historical graphic novel reexamines the bravery and tragedy that first thrust Ukraine in the international spotlight in the years before World War II.

In the early 1930s, Gareth Jones is a young journalist with powerful connections after a groundbreaking interview with Adolf Hitler and his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. This notoriety gains him permission to travel to the Soviet Union for a potential interview with Joseph Stalin.

Jones hopes to learn more about the Soviets mass economic gains but finds himself stonewalled and trapped in Moscow. While looking for a way out, he meets new allies that alert him to the growing man-made famine, or Holodomor, happening in Ukraine under the government's guidance. Jones, seeking the truth in all its ugliness, embarks on a journey of discovery, strife, and a cover-up of the deaths of millions of people.
Can the unrelenting power of truth expose one of Stalin’s greatest crimes to a world that refuses to bear witness? From journalist and screenwriter Andrea Chalupa (host of the hit podcast Gaslist...

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ISBN 9781637152775
PRICE US$24.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Perfect for any history lovers, this graphic novel deals with the relationship between the USSR and Ukraine, and the Holodomor, a "terror famine" that took place in the 1930s and the subsequent coverup. Andrea Chalupa covers this subject expertly and with sensitivity. I have not seen the movie that she has also written on the same subject but found the storyline easy enough to follow anyways. However, this is a subject I was already familiar with. Potentially more background could have been supplied for readers that don't know anything about the USSR.

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I highly recommend this graphic novel. It was an unflinching and heartbreaking portrayal of Gareth Jones' courageous work exposing the truth about Stalin and Ukraine. Even though the content is essentially the same as the movie Mr. Jones, this medium will likely bring it to a larger audience; I could see it being used in schools in a graphic novel unit alongside works like Persepolis. The art style was great, though occasionally I found it difficult to tell what was going on until I took a second or third look; that's probably just because I do not read too many graphic novels. The writing was clear and to-the-point, and the story addresses themes and questions that are just as relevant and urgent today as they were in the 1930s. Anyone seeking to understand the Soviet Union, the origins of the Cold War, or the origins of the situation in Ukraine today should read this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free eARC. This review contains my honest opinions. I will post this review on Goodreads and Amazon closer to the book's publication.

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