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The dramatic, world-shaking story of the Russian Revolution told from an entirely new perspective - through the eye-witness accounts of foreign nationals in Petrograd who witnessed history being made on the streets around them.
Helen Rappaport is an historian and Russianist with specialisms in the Victorians and revolutionary Russia. Her books include No Place for Ladies- The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War, Ekaterinburg- The Last Days of the Romanovs, Beautiful For Ever- Madame Rachel of Bond Street - Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer, Magnificent Obsession- Victoria, Albert and the Death that Changed the Monarchy; Four Sisters- The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses and Caught in the Revolution- Petrograd, 1917. A fluent Russian speaker, she has translated many classic Russian plays (including all of Chekhov's) and was historical consultant to Tom Stoppard's National Theatre trilogy The Coast of Utopia (2002). She is also a frequent contributor to television and radio documentaries, most recently Russia's Lost Princesses (BBC2, 2014). She lives in West Dorset.
A gripping, vivid, deeply researched chronicle of the Russian
Revolution told through the eyes of a surprising, flamboyant cast
of foreigners in Petrograd, superbly narrated by Helen
Rappaport. -- Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The
Next year's centenary will prompt a raft of books on the Russian Revolution. They will be hard pushed to better this highly original, exhaustively researched and superbly constructed account. -- Saul David * Daily Telegraph *
This is narrative history at its very best, communicating the confusion, exhilaration, horror and despair of that momentous year * BBC History Magazine *
Chronicles the events of 1917 through the eyes of foreigners resident in Petrograd - diplomats, journalists, merchants, factory owners, charity workers and simple Russophiles... a wonderful array of observations, most of them misguided, some downright bizarre. What makes this book so delightful and enlightening is the depth of incredulity it reveals... [A] wonderful book. -- Gerard DeGroot * The Times *
Thoroughly-researched and absorbing... this book offers a compelling picture of life in Petrograd in this momentous and often terrible year... One gets a wonderful picture of the extraordinary and beautiful city... and a keen sense of the really grotesque inequality that has always existed there. -- Allan Massie * Scotsman *
A past more dramatic than Chekhov, more tragic than Tolstoy and more romantic than Pasternak... Helen Rappaport collates a vast menagerie of eyewitnesses [from Petrograd 1917] into a cast of fascinating characters... bring[ing] an absorbing period of history closer to home. -- Guy Pewsey * Evening Standard *
A vivid account of the city 'taut as a wire'... highly readable and fluent... Rappaport has unearthed striking new material -- Spectator * Charlotte Hobson *
Fascinating... A colourful account of expatriate life in the Russian capital in 1917. -- Peter Conradi * Sunday Times *