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Norton and Affiliates Fall 2017

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Writings from Russia: 1917
Edited by: Pete Ayrton
9781681775203 Hardcover English General Trade HISTORY / Russia & the Former Soviet Union Oct 03, 2017
$36.95 CAD
Active 6.2 x 9.3 x 1.2 in 368 pages WW Norton Pegasus Books
This October the world commemorates the centenary of the Russian Revolution, one of the crucial moments of the twentieth century, and an event passionately fought over by those on all sides of the political spectrum.

Revolution! will contain writing by Russians and by foreigners who went to Russia and for whom the Russian Revolution was a political litmus test. The themes—hunger and heating, the limits of personal freedom, the infallibility of the party, free love, the role of art in the revolution—dominated twentieth century intellectual life and continue to resonate today. Many books on the Russian Revolution will be published in the centenary year, but Revolution! will be unique in portraying this momentous event through the writings of those who witnessed it (or its immediate after-effects).

Following No Man’s Land and No Pasaran, it is an anthology that vividly portrays the many sides of an event that changed the course of world history—and is still contested today.

“Leninists, Bolsheviks, anarchists and communists, thugs, registered housebreakers – what a muddle! What a Satanic vinaigrette! What immense work – to raise once more and cleanse from all this garbage the great idea of socialism.” —Teffi

Pete Ayrton was born in London in 1943. After a brief period teaching philosophy, his work as a translator led to his founding of Serpent’s Tail. No Man’s Land, his collection of writings from World War I, was highly acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic and was named one of the Economist’s Best Books of the Year.

Ayrton, who has edited two previous historical collections, assembles another fine, readable anthology of primary sources. This one gives a solid sense of the enormous hope and ultimate disappointment that the Russian Revolution instilled in eyewitnesses. Compelling, timely extracts to spur deeper exploration. — Kirkus Reviews

Peter Ayrton rises above the political infighting and sectarianism and gives us a bottoms-up history. — Minneapolis Star Tribune [praise for Pete Ayrton]

The real strength of No Man’s Land is the sheer diversity of the voices it offers, especially those from fronts often overlooked or considered peripheral. — New York Times [praise for Pete Ayrton]

Ayrton’s selections reflect a discerning perspective on the topic. His commentaries are informed by his own sympathy with the revolution and its ideals but never lapse into blind boosterism. The anthology successfully presents the initial hopes and expectations and the eventual disillusion, despair, and denial when dreams were dashed. — Publishers Weekly

Ayrton has achieved something very rare and powerful in this book, a brilliantly edited collection. Essential reading for anyone interested in history, literature, or the human condition. — Library Journal (starred) [praise for Pete Ayrton]

The essential collection of writing from the First World War. Wonderfully wide-ranging. — The Times (London) [praise for Pete Ayrton]

As diverse in attitudes as it is in geography. A tribute to the art of translation. Marvelous. — Times Literary Supplement [praise for Pete Ayrton]

Superb. An impressive anthology that bears an extraordinary cargo of human experience. — Financial Times [praise for Pete Ayrton]

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