One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, the rest of the world is still trying to come to grips with this great nation created in bloodshed and with great hopes for a bright future. How do we begin to understand the feelings and aspirations of a people so recently “freed” from the Iron Curtain?
A number of books are being published marking the anniversary of the Revolution of 1917. One of the best is the book titled "Caught in the Revolution" by Helen Rappaport. She has drawn from letters, diaries and newspaper stories written by foreigners who were witness to the events in St. Petersburg. Reading this, one can wish that Czar Nicholas had not been so blind to the suffering of his people and the snowballing of events which overwhelmed his government. One can also wonder what a Russia under the reformer Kerensky might have been. However, within a few months Lenin and the Bolsheviks had stolen the promise of the Revolution. After a short period of revolutionary fervor, a long period of reaction and tyranny under Stalin took place. And now there is Vladimir Putin, the “new tsar.”
Thoughtful readers interested in current affairs will want to dip into some recent books on Russia.