World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Russia in the Shadows


Russia in the Shadows

Russia in the Shadows is the title of the book by H. G. Wells published early in 1921,[1] which includes a series of articles previously printed in The Sunday Express in connection with Wells's second visit to Russia (after a previous trip in January 1914 to St. Petersburg and Moscow) in September and October 1920. Wells was at the height of his fame, having recently completed The Outline of History, and was paid ₤1000 for the articles by the Sunday Express. During his visit to Russia he visited his old friend Maxim Gorky, whom he had first met in 1906 on a trip to the United States, and who arranged Wells's meeting with Lenin.

Wells portrayed Russia as recovering from a total social collapse, "the completest that has ever happened to any modern social organisation."[2] He minimized the role of the Bolsheviks in the fall of the Russian state, and presented this explanation of their success: "While all the rest of Russia was either apathetic like the peasantry or garrulously at sixes and sevens or given over to violence or fear, the Communists were prepared to act."[3]

In a chapter devoted to an interview with Lenin at the Kremlin Wells describes the leader and founder of Russian communism. Wells portrays Lenin as a pragmatic leader who "has recently stripped off the last pretence that the Russian revolution is anything more than the inauguration of an age of limitless experiment."[4]

While Wells in Russia in the Shadows, as always, rejects Marxism on principle (Das Kapital impresses him as "a monument of pretentious pedantry"[5]), he argues that "we should understand and respect the professions and principles of the Bolsheviki" in order to make a "helpful intervention" in Russia, lest its social collapse drag down Western civilization with it.[6]

See also

External links


  1. ^ David C. Smith, H.G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography (Yale University Press, 1986), p. 270.
  2. ^ H.G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (New York: George H. Doran, 1921), p. 21.
  3. ^ H.G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (New York: George H. Doran, 1921), p. 76.
  4. ^ H.G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (New York: George H. Doran, 1921), p. 157.
  5. ^ H.G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (New York: George H. Doran, 1921), p. 81.
  6. ^ H.G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (New York: George H. Doran, 1921), pp. 175 & 178.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.