I Wanna Be Literated! #135

I Wanna Be Literated! #135

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016
COLUMN

Lenin’s Moscow
by Alfred Rosmer

It’s been a hundred years and there’s still so much to learn from the Russian Revolution. I’ve read several accounts of the events (including Trotsky’s hefty 1000+ page book), and I still feel like I haven’t quite gotten a hang of what exactly was happening after the Bolsheviks took power.

Alfred Rosmer was a former French Syndicalist who was present for much of the hoopla which followed the October revolution and has felt compelled to recreate the events as he saw them. He assures us that his memory is impeccable, but that itself should worry the reader.

Lenin’s Moscow is incredibly easy and at times even a very fun read. Rosmer writes about the events that he saw in Russia from 1920-1922 in laymen’s terms and frequently tells his story like a traveller, meeting new people, old friends, and visiting new places. Unfortunately, there’s also a fair amount of bureaucracy, as the Soviets have organized meeting after meeting and congress after congress to discuss tactics, rally support, to bicker and dispute, to fight the leftist tendencies within the party and the trade unions, and figure out the sorry state of the French communist party. At times I found it hard to follow what exactly what was being discussed and that’s because Rosmer jumps all over the place and omits certain important details or backstories which would help us understand the topic. His narrative ends with Lenin’s death and how that basically brought the death of the Communist party.

At any rate, Lenin’s Moscow was a very enjoyable read and provided insight on what daily life was like for some of the more elite members of Soviet Russia. It contains valuable information for both casual fans of the subject and hardcore scholars.

Get your copy here.

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