As a journalist, he is not embedded — to use the contemporary phrase — among soldiers as a representative of a free press in a civilian society. There is no free press. Civilians are only those who will be killed without weapons in their hands, and who have already been brutalized by Stalin before the war. Grossman is not free himself. He is all but a soldier under orders. Yet he is forced to sustain the consciousness needed to record everything he sees around him. His survival, after four years of war, is as miraculous as the survival of Kuznechik, the Bactrian camel that accompanied the 308th Rifle Division from Stalingrad to Berlin, where it spat on the Reichstag.
I want to have this book.