EIGHTY-SEVEN DAYS by Andrew Angarsky


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This long, impassioned novel is an account of the terrible and decisive months following the Russian November Revolution in 1917. Its cast of principal characters (which numbers almost 40) consists of former Army officers organized to overthrow the Bolsheviks and of various people from all walks of life whom the revolution profoundly affected. At the opening of the story the revolution has been in existence for six months though Lenin's forces are embattled on all fronts -- plagued by the Germans in the south, threatened by the (eventual) Allied invasion in the east, insecure in the provinces where the Czarists are still strong, and harassed even in the largest cities by Leftist splinter groups. Throughout all this turmoll young students fall in love and are betrayed by events, families are split apart by politics, wives begin intrigues with adventurers, lovers are separated, united, separated again. For some, the revolution means the end of order, privilege, truth but only the most zealous of these, and the best trained, are willing to use all means to ""save"" the old Russia. But truth, justice and the force of history rests with Lenin's followers and it is they who emerge, in Eighty-Seven Days, as the most selfless and moral group in the struggle. By the end of the novel a complicated plot on Lenin's life has been thwarted, the liberal Socialists (who were willing to sell out the revolution) have been defeated and in the west, at least, the White Army has been destroyed. Not much can be said for the old fashioned narrative style of Eighty-Seven Days but the sheer scope of the book is admirable and the inherent drama of the events themselves is stirring.

Publisher: Knopf