It is difficult to convey the ways in which this biographical novel of a Russian revolutionary escapes the stigma of much modern Russian literature, the reason for its holding power throughout its staggering length. For it is fascinating and absorbing reading. In the compass of one life, partly fictional, it conveys a sense of a whole movement, with its many ramifications, the liberals, the terrorists, the conservatives, the revolutionaries in all their many aspects, and this against a psychological background of forces at odds within the person of the hero, pulled first one way, then another, inspired, disillusioned, tempered by his intimate and personal loves, hates and passions. The story covers 20 years -- 1900 to 1920 -- in detail, years that crystallized the change from Old Russia to New. But it is first and last a human document, written by a Siberian living in the U. S. Watch it.