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To Some Absent God

As a young artist and writer, Roy Paul Madsen was invited to be a resident at the Huntington Hartford Foundation Art Colony. While there, he met Max Eastman, the well-known radical publisher of a Communist magazine. As they became friends, Max told Roy of his recent stay in Russia, especially his time with Joseph Stalin and Stalin's wife, Nadya Stalin. Max had been very touched by what he had seen of Nadya's life and how it was impacted by Stalin's attempt to impose Communism on the Russian people. Max asked Roy to write a book about Nadya so the world could know of her struggles. Nadya's story is told here through the perceptions and narrative of Philip Makharov, a writer-historian hired by Nadya to write a biography of Stalin. Eventually, Nadya and Philip fell in love, and the growth of their relationship within the stormy birth pangs of the new Soviet Union forms the background of this novel. This is a story of idealism and disillusionment, deep love, and seething hatred. It is also a tribute to a friendship that extends beyond the grave with this fulfillment of a promise Roy Madsen made years ago to Max Eastman.

--Roy Paul Madsen

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