When Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, he intended to capture Leningrad before turning on Moscow. Soviet resistance forced him to change tactics: with his forward troops only thirty kilometres from the city's historic centre, he decided instead to starve it out. Using newly available diaries and government records, Anna Reid describes a city's descent into hell - the breakdown of electricity and water supply; subzero temperatures; the consumption of pets, joiner's glue and face cream; the dead left unburied where they fell - but also the extraordinary endurance, bravery and self-sacrifice, despite the cruelty and indifference of the Kremlin.
Anna Reid was born in 1965, read law at Oxford and Russian History at UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She started her career in consultancy and business journalism; from 1993 to 1995 she lived in Kiev, working as Ukraine correspondent for the Economist, and from 2003 to 2007 ran the foreign affairs programme at the think-tank Policy Exchange. She lives in west London.