The Photo Book That Captured How the Soviet Regime Made the Truth Disappear | The New Yorker

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The Photo Book That Captured How the Soviet Regime Made the Truth Disappear | The New Yorker

The book is called “The Commissar Vanishes.” The title is, incongruously, literal. Its specific reference is to a photograph, from 1919, of a second-anniversary celebration of the October Revolution. In the picture, Vladimir Lenin stands at the top of a set of stairs, surrounded by many unidentified men and children and a few recognizable men, including Leon Trotsky, stationed just in front of Lenin. By the time the photograph was published, in 1967, Trotsky had disappeared: he had been airbrushed out, along with several other commissars.