The Corner

World

When Lana Met Sergo

On the homepage today, I conclude my (brief) tour of sons-in-law, inspired by the unusual relationship between President Trump and Jared Kushner. Every son-in-law, and every father-in-law, should have such a relationship! In today’s installment, I write mainly of dictatorships: the families of Stalin, Duvalier, Assad, and Saddam. I mention that Svetlana Stalin had three or four marriages, depending on how you count. (She herself would have said four. She lived with an Indian man, whom the Kremlin’s No. 1 at the time, Kosygin, forbade her to marry.)

Before any of these marriages occurred, Svetlana had the hots for Sergo Beria — yes, the son of Lavrenti, Stalin’s sadistic security chief. Sergo was married, but Svetlana tried to upend that marriage, unsuccessfully.

I note this in my “tour” today, but would like to add something, here on the Corner — quoting from my book on sons and daughters of dictators:

In the mid-1990s, Sergo Beria was interviewed by Andrew Higgins of the London Independent. Little Beria criticized Svetlana because she had turned against her father. He himself venerated Stalin, as he did his own father.

Par for the course (which makes Svetlana, for all her faults, outstanding, and morally courageous).

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Sad Finale

Spoilers Ahead. Look, I share David’s love of Game of Thrones. But I thought the finale was largely a bust, for failings David mostly acknowledges in passing (but does not allow to dampen his ardor). The problems with the finale were largely the problems of this entire season. Characters that had been ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More