Caught in the revolution : Petrograd, Russia, 1917-- a world on the edge

Rappaport, Helen, author

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator Helen Rappaport
  • Format Books
  • Publication First U.S. edition. New York : St. Martin's Press, 2017. ©2016
  • Physical Details
    • xxvi, 430 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
  • ISBNs 9781250056641, 1250056640, 9781466860452
  • OCLC ocn947146087


  • "Caught in the Revolution is Helen Rappaport's masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eye-witness 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, bars 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 Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action--to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped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'"--


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Prologue: 'The air is thick with talk of catastrophe' -- Part 1: The February Revolution. 'Women are beginning to rebel at standing in bread lines' ; 'No place for an innocent boy from Kansas' ; 'Like a bank holiday with thunder in the air' ; 'A revolution carried on by chance' ; Easy access to vodka 'would have precipitated a reign of terror' ; 'Good to be alive these marvelous days' ; 'People still blinking in the light of the sudden deliverance' ; The Field of Mars ; Bolsheviki! It sounds 'like all that the world fears' -- Part 2: The July days. 'The greatest thing in history since Joan of Arc' ; 'What would the colony say if we ran away?' ; 'This pest-hole of a capital' -- Part 3: The October Revolution. 'For color and terror and grandeur this makes Mexico look pale' ; 'We woke up to find the town in the hands of the Bolsheviks' ; 'Crazy people killing each other just like we swat flies at home' -- Postscript: The forgotten voices of Petrograd
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