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Comrade Kropotkin   By:

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First Page:

LIVES OF GREAT ALTRURIANS

COMRADE KROPOTKIN

BY VICTOR ROBINSON

" To liberate one's country!" she said. "It is terrible even to utter those words, they are so grand. " TURGENEV: "On the Eve."

PRICE, ONE DOLLAR THE ALTRURIANS 12 MOUNT MORRIS PARK WEST NEW YORK CITY 1908

This book is not copyrighted

How could it be?

[Illustration: PETER ALEXEIVITCH KROPOTKIN

Born in the Old Esquerries' Quarter of Moscow in 1842]

CONTENTS

DEDICATION

FOREWORD PAGE UNDER NICHOLAS I. 7

SCENES FROM SERFDOM 15

EXPLORATIONS 23

THE NIHILISTS 29

THE TERRORISTS 36

SOPHIA PEROVSKAYA 43

THE FORTRESS OF PETER AND PAUL 54

BROTHERS 62

THE OPEN GATE 71

FROM THE PRINTING PRESS 82

IN LATER LIFE 106

THE HISTORIAN OF THE REVOLUTION 120

ILLUSTRATIONS

FACING PETER KROPOTKIN Frontispiece PAGE

THE SCAFFOLD'S BRIDE 32

NICHOLAS CHAYKOVSKY 44

SOPHIA PEROVSKAYA 52

BEFORE THE SEARCH 66

THE COSSACKS 112

TO GEORGE KENNAN

I dedicate this work. I need not say why. He will know Everyone will know. With tears, during the night, I have read your book, thou earnest truth seeker. O compassionate traveler, what a man you must have been! For the weary Siberian exiles called you 'Dear George Ivanovich!' With a heart Full of thankfulness for the work you have done, I lay my bitter and bloody pages at your feet. VICTOR ROBINSON

FOREWORD

Bernard Shaw calls us a nation of villagers. To a large extent this appellation holds good. We are so self sufficient unto ourselves that the most important events in the world leave us cold if they take place outside of the realm of the star spangled banner.

A wonderful and terrible thing is happening in the largest empire on earth; a downtrodden people is engaged in a death grapple with its merciless rulers; and never were masters so inhuman, and never were people so heroic. In comparison with this titanic struggle the French Revolution itself sinks into insignificance. But what do we know about it? And what do we care? Russia is far away.... Once in a while the report of a particularly atrocious massacre, or a particularly cruel torture inflicted upon a young girl revolutionist will shock our sensibilities, will cause a pang in our hearts, will perhaps make our hair stand on end, but in a day or two we forget all about it. We are so busy!

No wonder that this battle drama appeals with special force, and exerts a special charm on the young of all lands, the young who worship Freedom, and whose breasts beat warmly for Ideals. No wonder therefore that it appeals to Victor Robinson.

This essay was written at the age of twenty, and the youth of the author will serve as an apology, if apology be needed, for the sharpness of some of the expressions found in these pages. But is excuse really necessary? I hardly think so. No language can be too strong when condemning the Russian Bureaucracy, no judgment can be too severe when pronounced on czardom and its cruel minions. In fact the English language sometimes seems inadequate....

A remarkable commentary on the conditions in Russia is the fact that he who studies them carefully and thoroly, be he the gentlest and sweetest youth who would not harm a fly or tread on a worm, becomes saturated with the conviction that in Russia, the rebel's bomb and pistol and dagger are not only legitimate and necessary, but even noble weapons of defense and offense... Continue reading book >>




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