From best selling author Helen Rappaport ( THE ROMANOV SISTERS) comes a new look at Russian history releasing this week!
Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St. Petersburg) was in turmoil – felt nowhere more keenly than on the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt.
There, the foreign visitors who filled hotels, clubs, bars and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps and beneath their windows. Among this disparate group were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, bankers, governesses, volunteer nurses, and expatriate socialites. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home: from an English nurse who had already survived the sinking of the Titanic; to the black valet of the US Ambassador, far from his native Deep South; to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who had come to Petrograd to inspect the indomitable Women’s Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareva.
Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action – to see, feel, hear the Revolution as it happened.
Having read the author's previous book, The Romanov Sisters, I was not surprised at the amount of research Helen put into this book, even if it was not what I had expected!
The book is told more from different view points of the revolutions- those that supported it, those that blindly followed, those who ignored it (until they couldn't), and those who appreciated what they saw as the democracy of it, not fully understanding the true cost. Through the diaries you come to understand just how inevitable a revolution was, and that the monarchy was out of touch. Was a socialist republic the answer? Probably not, because as the book shows those that were fighting for a democracy, such as America had, were pushed out in favor of those who would eventually become the elite of the Socialist party, As such, the book is like watching a train wreck happen, without being able to stop it. It is an interesting behind the scenes look, and one many Americans will have no idea about, making it a must for any avid history reader!
About the Author:
>Helen Rappaport studied Russian at Leeds University and is a specialist in Russian and nineteenth-century women’s history. She lives in Oxford. Check out her website for more info