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The Russian Revolution; the Jugo-Slav Movement   By: (1887-1956)

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By Alexander Petrunkevitch, Samuel Northrup, Harper Frank,And Alfred Golder


By Robert Joseph Kerner


Whatever may be its final outcome the Russian Revolution of 1917 bids fair to remain one of the great events of modern history. Its consequences are still immeasurable and today to many they appear as fraught with menace as with hope. They have within less than a year led a mighty empire to the brink of dissolution and no man can foretell where and how the process will end for worse or for better. The Russian Revolution saved the Central Powers at the moment when their prospect looked darkest, but on the other hand it facilitated the entrance of the United States into the war as one for liberty and democracy. Time has yet to show whether the loss or the gain has been the greater for the Allied cause and for mankind. It will be paid for at a heavy price but our hope cannot easily be shaken that sooner or later an event so full of promise for the misruled millions of the autocratic empire of the Tsar will mark a step forward, not backward, in the progress of the world. The whole story of the sudden out break in Petrograd which in little more than a day swept away the fabric of imperial government will not soon be told, if ever. All real information on the subject is timely and valuable. We need such studies as those contained in the present volume, in order that we may understand what has happened, and why it has happened.

The rise of the modern Jugo Slav movement offers us a very different picture. The subject and even the name are new to most people, the scale is much smaller; the events have been less dramatic. But the unconquerable resistance which a small disjointed nationality has offered throughout the ages to ill fortune, oppression, and to attempts to obliterate it entirely arouses our admiration. The movement too was intimately connected with the outbreak of the present world war which cannot be understood without taking it into account. It still represents only an ardent hope for the future but when the day of peace and justice comes no permanent allotment can be made of the lands east of the Adriatic that shall not give it at least some satisfaction.



By Alexander Petrunkevitch

In an interview dated November 21, and published in the New York Times in a special cable from Petrograd, Leon Trotzky in defending the attitude of the people toward the Bolsheviki coup d'etat is reported to have said substantially the following: "All the bourgeoisie is against us. The greater part of the intellectuals is against us or hesitating, awaiting a final outcome. The working class is wholly with us. The army is with us. The peasants, with the exception of exploiters, are with us. The Workmen's and Soldiers' government is a government of workingmen, soldiers, and peasants against the capitalists and landowners."

On the other hand my father, Ivan Petrunkevitch, floorleader of the Constitutional Democratic party in the first Duma and since that time owner and publisher of the Petrograd daily Rech writes in a private letter dated June 12: "... the present real government, i. e., the Council of Soldiers' and Workmen's Deputies, whose leaders are neither soldiers nor workmen, but intellectuals, etc." Nothing has happened during the months intervening between the letter and the interview to change the composition of the Council appreciably. It is true that Kerensky who was vice president of the Council has been meanwhile deposed; that Tshcheidze had to relinquish the presidency in the Council to Trotzky long before Kerensky's downfall; but the leaders of the Council still are intellectuals, are well educated men, some of them well known writers on political and economic questions and withal very different from the masses which they lead and which they purport to represent... Continue reading book >>

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