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Caught in the Revolution

Petrograd, Russia, 1917 - A World on the Edge

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanov Sisters, Caught in the Revolution is Helen Rappaport's masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eye-witness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold.

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, offices 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Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action – to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped in a "red madhouse."

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 19, 2016 – Rappaport (The Romanov Sisters) adopts an eyewitness approach to the Russian Revolution of 1917 in this fun, fast-paced, yet frivolous work. She bases her story on the firsthand accounts of Westerners in Petrograd at the time a mixed bag of bankers, diplomats, journalists, socialists, and socialites, including Julia Dent Grant (granddaughter of Ulysses S. Grant); journalists Florence Harper, Arthur Ransome, and John Reed; and American war photographer Donald Thompson. Some witnesses braved the mob scene with camera and notebook in hand. Others barricaded themselves in their offices and watched through their windows, fearing for their lives as the violence escalated. Rappaport fails to really develop these personalities, and the perspective changes as rapidly as the street names. Compared to Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World or Richard Pipes's classic The Russian Revolution 1899 1919, this is revolution-lite, very colorful but without much analysis or context. Rappaport treats readers to glimpses of the general strikes, bread protests, looting, and red banner waving through the smoky-rose glasses of these wistful and unprepared foreigners. Sadly, the Russians are reduced to a ragged, hungry monochrome mass. Map & illus.
Caught in the Revolution
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Feb 07, 2017
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 448 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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