Conspirator: Lenin in Exile

Conspirator: Lenin in Exile

3.5 2
by Helen Rappaport
     
 

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Helen Rappaport’s Conspirator is a vivid account of Vladimir I. Lenin’s years of exile in Europe, showing that this often-overlooked period shaped the life of one of the 20th century’s most important figures. In the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, Lenin traveled between the capital cities of Europe, developing a complex network

Overview

Helen Rappaport’s Conspirator is a vivid account of Vladimir I. Lenin’s years of exile in Europe, showing that this often-overlooked period shaped the life of one of the 20th century’s most important figures. In the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, Lenin traveled between the capital cities of Europe, developing a complex network of collaborators and co-conspirators that would play a significant role in the struggle to come. Rappaport sheds a rare light onto Lenin’s early life, describing his relationship with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his extraordinary and unexpected love affair with beautiful activist Inessa Armand. In a riveting narrative, Conspirator describes the courage and the comedy, the setbacks, schisms and disappointments, the extreme persistence and the ruthless dedication that carried Lenin and his colleagues along the inexorable path to the Russian Revolution.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Russia-specialist Rappaport (The Last Days of the Romanovs) has created a wonderfully thorough and highly interesting account of V.I. Lenin's purposeful wanderings in Europe before the Russian revolution. Lenin emerges as the quintessential fanatic, convinced of his own infallibility as a messiah of Marxism. Charismatic and driven, he captivates individuals and seizes control of the “Bolshevik” wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. Viewing himself as the embodiment of revolution, Lenin established underground operations in Munich, Geneva, London, Paris, and numerous other locations while feuding with anyone who dared question his approach (“We won't permit the idea of unity [with the Mensheviks] to tie a noose around our necks,” he said). His stoically loyal wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya provided her “Volodya” with constant support as he imposed his will on the Bolsheviks and, ultimately, on an entire nation. Too much attention is given to Lenin's affair with the beautiful, tragic Inessa Armand, but, on the other hand, some may find poetic justice in reading that Lenin very likely died of syphilis. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

Booklist
“Rappaport delivers a vital restoration of the real Lenin.”

Russian Life
“The period of Lenin’s life when he wandered Europe, impoverished and isolated, prior to the 1917 revolution is recounted in fascinating detail in this new book… This volume contributes immensely to our understanding of how Lenin forged his cadre, his leadership style and the worldview that all came to be so brutally reflected in the oppressive state he founded.”

Kirkus
“Remini revisits the Compromise of 1850 as an important, cautionary tale for today…. [He] skillfully presents the debates by the Great Triumvirate – Clay, John C. Calhoun and Daniel Webster – and decides that Clay’s compromise ultimately saved the Union by allowing the North ten years to prepare for war and to nourish the great leader it needed – Abraham Lincoln. A fresh look at the value of compromise in advancing the general interest.”

Seattle Times
“[A]n excellent account of Lenin’s formative years as a political exile from tsarist Russia that evokes the desperate scene of the European radical underground with nuance and in engaging detail…. Rappaport handles her subject with admirable objectivity, which makes the image of Lenin that emerges all the more damning.”

Foreign Affairs
“Never before have [Lenin’s] mind, habits, quirks, and passions been so well portrayed as in this book…. The events of these years have been recounted a thousand times, but Rappaport penetrates beyond them by trailing after Lenin, his utterly devoted wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and the sundry young Russian revolutionaries who collected about him in an endless succession of one-room furnitureless apartments, makeshift meeting places, and furtive printing centers.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Helen Rappaport, in Conspirator, vividly describes the years that Nikolai Lenin, one of the century’s leading monsters, responsible for the reign of terror and the Gulag, spent in exile. Though the outcome – the Communist takeover of Russia – is familiar, Rappaport maintains such narrative tension that it does not seem certain.… [A] readable and always intelligent account of one of history’s most infamous monsters.”
 
Washington Times
“A well-written and…painstakingly researched story.”
 
Choice
“Instead of being a political saga, as have been most previous Lenin biographies, the fangs are missing in this one; it has become a story of obsession. Well written and researched, with a full and workable bibliography…. Recommended.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465028597
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
636,707
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Helen Rappaport is a fluent Russian speaker and a specialist in Russian history. In 2002 she was Russian consultant to the National Theater’s Tom Stoppard trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, and translated many plays by Chekhov. She is most recently the author of The Last Days of the Romanovs. She lives in Oxford, England.

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Conspirator: Lenin in Exile 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
NookReader1WB More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the details and the flow. Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago