From the New York Times best-selling author of The Romanov Sisters, Caught in the Revolution is Helen Rappaport's masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eyewitness 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Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action - to see, feel, and hear the revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped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".
This program includes a bonus interview with the author and her editor.
"This centenary year of the Russian Revolution promises a string of new audio histories, but not many will surpass this one for impact. Xe Sands is a subtle and empathetic narrator." (AudioFile)
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After the Berry Book on the Romanovs
So what was it like being in the capitol of Russia in the early days of the 1917-18 revolution? Rappaport tells that story in a well researched but very readable book. I read this right after reading a novel about restoring the Romanov throne - good pair!
Steve Berry's novel on the Romanovs
- Jonathan Brown
Ordinary People; Chaotic Times