A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes (1996)

25 December 2011

Finally finish rereading Orlando Figes’s A People’s Tragedy, his harrowing history of the Russian Revolution.

Learn in the last chapters about the cannibal cafes set up during the famine of 1921 and how the taste of human flesh is, apparently, strongly addictive. Compare & contrast the mind-boggling brutality and anarchy of the revolutionary years with today’s Russia, as per an article in the current London Review of Books,¬†and with live accounts of the anti-Putin protests.

Chastening reading as I sit down to Christmas lunch…

Fragments of a Defunct State’, a review of contemporary Russia in the London Review of Books

A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes (1996)

18 December 2011

Rereading Orlando Figes’s ‘A People’s Tragedy’ (1996), a long exhausting history of the Russian Revolution. Like wading through blood. Like the people of the time you slowly become desensitised to violence until you read about whole areas being put to the torch, peasants massacred, all the women raped, the village elders systematically tortured, without blinking, since this is the thousandth time it’s happened.

What horror! Not sure what to read next, ‘The Whisperers’ looks like a kind of sequel…

‘A People’s Tragedy’ on Amazon

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