Russian Studies

Leonard Bertram Schapiro, Author, Leonard Shapiro, Author Viking Books $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-670-81281-3
""Shortcuts to freedom'' taken by various Russian revolutionaries are examined in this miscellany of articles, reviews and essays by a well-known cultural, political and literary historian. Schapiro argues that Lenin was ``a man in a hurry'' who applied elitist practices to Russia's labor movement much as prerevolutionaries had done with the peasants; this shortcut led directly to Stalin's totalitarian regime. One essay, ``Trotsky, As He Really Was,'' pinpoints Leon Trotsky's failure to admit that Stalinism was a perversion of Marxism and no longer socialism at all. Karl Marx himself was skeptical about whether his theories could be applied to backwards Russia, so Schapiro looks at the group of ``legal Marxists'' led by Petr Struve who stressed Russia's immediate need to evolve into a capitalist society that would nurture liberal freedoms. An incisive portrait of poet Alexander Blok claims he was drawn to the revolutionary mystique because of its destructive aspects. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-14-009376-6
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