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Black Night,White Snow:Russia's Revolutions 1905-1917

$9.49
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Nonfiction

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Item number:

11726861

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Book club edition. 8vo (5 3/4" x 8 1/2"). xv, [v], 769 pages. Two-tone boards. Black paper-covered spine, gilt spine lettering, red ink spine panel, red paper-covered boards (hardcover binding). Genealogical chart of the Romanov family on endpapers. List of principal personages. List of sources (bibliography). Endnotes. Index. The author was an editor of the NY Times during the time when it was considered the most infallible source of news in America, and with people of the breadth of experience and expertise of this author such regard was warranted. Here we have a product of his retirement and additional time he could devote to producing an historically accurate account of a cataclysmic event. "The fall of the Romanov dynasty and the triumph of revolution in Russia, 1905-1917, is one of the cataclysmic events of the twentieth century. Harrison Salisbury tells this great story in a fast-moving narrative that is a fusion of people, facts, and suspense.Harrison E. Salisbury, a leading authority on Russia, has told a sweeping story and shown the dazzling fabric of Russian life, often in the words of the participants. His account draws heavily on Russian archival sources, some still unpublished, as well as on personal memoirs.not only of political and diplomatic figures, but of artists, poets, and journalists of the period. There are new insights and revelations of the role of Lenin and his Bolsheviks - their confusion and internal conflicts. The result is an exciting record of Russia's great revolutions - a book that captures in detail and anecdote the electrifying atmosphere of an extraordinary epoch that changed the world." A Still-Valuable Retrospective on the Russian Revolution, September 5, 2005 Reviewer: aNONymous Harrison Salisbury, correspondent to the "Second World" of Russia during some of the most dramatic moments of its 20th Century history, occasional novelist and intellectual representative of a bygone (American) liberal elite, is now increasingly relegated to footnote status in most texts dealing with the time. Nonetheless, he had a first-rate mind, was "fair and balanced" in his reportage (meaning he neither knowingly lied about the social horrors of Communist regimes like Walter Duranty nor became an apologist for the West like many emigres from Arthur Koestler on down). He was a good reporter and a gentleman, in the old sense, who found himself, time and again, the only correspondent available to write about the bad conditions constantly emerging from even worse situations within the "Communist bloc" nations. His magnum opus, it seems, is and will be THE 900 DAYS: The Siege of Leningrad. I recall being greatly impressed, as well, by THE COMING WAR BETWEEN RUSSIA AND CHINA, especially when the border war between Vietnam and China, in 1979, seemed to bring this nightmare scenario one step from realization. BLACK NIGHT, WHITE SNOW is a valuable retrospective on the three Russian Revolutions, the one in 1905 and the two in 1917. The book's structure is generated by the juxtaposition of two lives, that of Czar Nicholas II and Vladimir Ulyanov, AKA "Lenin", whose character (or lack of it, in Nicholas' case) was to become so crucial for the lives of the subjects they would rule. About Nicholas II, then and now, about the best thing you can say is that he was a tragic figure, and leave it at that. Salisbury's Nicholas displays the worst features of what I call "inherited wealth syndrome." Moving beyond entitlement into realms where it seems somehow unnatural to lift a finger to help yourself, he proved fatally susceptible to the worst kind of sycophancy, and compounded this error by an almost psychopathic denial of reality, sacking all of his underlings who dared tell him the truth about the rot at work in the foundations of Russian society. When Stolypin, (the Russian Premier after 1905 and, according to Solzhenitsyn, the last man who might have averted the catastrophe of Boshevism), was assassinated, in the presence of Nicholas II, the Czar didn't even go to his funeral. Little things like that say alot. Where reform and positive action seemed too much for the Czar to contemplate, mysticism took over, resulting in the elevation of the demonic Rasputin to de facto control of the country. When Rasputin, in 1916, in his turn was killed, the Czar and Czarina Alexandra treated it as the ultimate national tragedy, and blamed all the horrors that happened afterwards on the inability of the aristocracy to tolerate the "holy man." Salisbury's treatment of Nicholas II is eye-opening, but his Lenin is a revelation, particularly for those who think that the evils of the Soviet system began and ended with Stalin. Lenin is generally seen, even now, as basically a bourgeois intellectual derailed from following a university or magnate path by the execution of his elder brother, Alexander Ulyanov, when the latter was implicated in a plot upon the life of Czar Alexander III. From then on, Vladimir was bound to be a revolutionary - but one who would not make the sentimental mistakes about people that had led to his older brother's death. So - working against the government, Vladimir was exiled, ending up out of touch and frustrated in various foreign countries, until the final explosion of 1917 brought all non-resident chickens home to roost. But Salisbury deftly, if sketchily, depicts the adult Lenin as a functioning manic-depressive, capable of instances of Hitlerian assertion of willpower, followed by (transitory) sieges of "nervous collapse", black moods devoid of energy and meaning, when it seemed he'd given up on himself and everybody around him, and would withdraw into the nearest tolerable natural setting to recoup his energies. Everybody has faults, of course, but Lenin's rollercoaster fanaticism is the kind of defect that should disallow one from public service. And it was this mental attitude, chockful of the meanest kind of spite and petty vindictiveness, which set Bolshevism on the course it would take, into Stalin's hands. Such insight into the progenitor of "Leninism" is one of many things that make BLACK NIGHT, WHITE SNOW stand out, at least in comparison with more "textbook"-like tomes as Robert Goldston's RUSSIAN REVOLUTION, or even Solzhenitsyn's imaginative "biographical novel" LENIN IN ZURICH. Another aspect of those times that is ably recaptured by Salisbury is the sheer chaos, the anarchy of "the dark people" (ie., the Russian masses), which propelled the Revolution into an arena where a dedicated madman like Lenin could take control. But one could go on and on about this book. Judging by the absence of reviews, either editorial or customer - not to mention its current unavailability by this bookstore and others - it seems not to be read that much anymore. There are other things one should read first, of course, when it comes to literary work about the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn springs to mind, Rybakov and others. It was after all, one thing to write ABOUT Hell on Earth, and another thing to write about it after living through it: the second P.O.V. definitely has higher moral standing, however decent a human being the "writer from outside" may be. If there were just time enough, both Salisbury and the "more authentic" Soviet-era dissidents would be read. Make time to read this book. Hardbound in red cloth, gilt titles. Red cloth boards, RED ON BLACK title panel with gold lettering. Book Condition: Corners and ends of spine VERY slightly rubbed and lower right corner is scuffed and bumped. Hinges tight. Pages clean and tightly bound. Privately Owned. Intact quite solid. No marks, names or stickers. Interior- nice overall condition. All pages are in good condition. None missing. The binding is in good condition; some minor wear on the corners. 1/2" tear on top front of spine binding. RED cloth boards have bumped corners and light rubbing to edges, pages are clean, tight and unmarked. This book is in really nice condition from top to bottom. Book is clean, tight, intact. No writing, no tears, firm binding. Clean and tight. Binding is tight. Good. Book pages are clean with secure binding. Clean pages- no RIPS, TEARS, Etc., insides are clean and unmarked. Smoke-free home. Interior is clean and tight. Nice overall condition. Book is not ex.-library or remainder. LOOK AT MY old, rare, and out of print books. ยท A very nice copy for the RUSSIAN HISTORY collector. Condition: Please note if you are purchasing a used item: Although some of my inventory may be in Like New or Very Good condition, most used materials show mild to moderate wear and tear. My books have tight bindings with clean pages and Glossy covers. They are in good condition from my Smoke-free home. I Ship fast using Low shipping costs. Save time and money. Have your book delivered to your door! My store Paper and Rags Galore has books Galore!! I have adult and children's, fiction and nonfiction, hardcover and soft cover. I also have many educational books appropriate for home-schooling. If you are looking for a particular title or author, let me know because chances are that I have it! I have promotions every month. Check them out! See this month's items. Black night, white snow: Russia's Revolutions 1905-1917 (Unknown Binding) by Harrison Evans Salisbury HARDCOVER; NO DUSTJACKET Unknown Binding: 746 pages Publisher: Doubleday; 1st ed edition (January 1, 1978) Garden City, NY Doubleday Company, Inc. [1977]., 1977. Language: English ISBN: 0385008449 List Price: 17.95 769 pages with notes, index, b/w illus, endpaper family tree of Romanov's.
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