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William GrimesThis little-known chapter is recounted in fascinating detail by Lesley Chamberlain in Lenin's Private War. It is a tricky tale to tell, because the names involved are unfamiliar. The idealist philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev still commands attention, but fellow passengers like the literary critic Yuli Aikhenvald, the religious thinker Semyon Frank, the sociologist Pitirim Sorokin and the medieval historian Lev Karsavin are known only to specialists today. Nevertheless, the writers and thinkers expelled in 1922 represented a grievous loss… Ms. Chamberlain, a British historian and the author of Motherland: A Philosophical History of Russia, brings these forgotten figures back to life with great skill and sympathy, reconstructing their intellectual milieu and making a strong case for the importance of their banishment as a turning point in the road from revolution to Communist tyranny.
—The New York Times