ALEXANDER KERENSKY: The First Love of the Revolution by Richard Abraham

ALEXANDER KERENSKY: The First Love of the Revolution

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This is called the first full-length ""thorough"" biography of the provisional leader of Russia between the Tsar and the Bolsheviks. Kerensky's reign was only a few months long. When Lenin grabbed power, he had to flee to Paris, and later to America (in 1946). After that, he was notable mainly for his longevity, surviving until 1970 when he finally succumbed, aged almost 90. In memoirs and fiction of the post-revolutionary period, Kerensky frequently appears ineffectual, about as up-to-date as a long-retired star of the silent screen. Abraham has done a great deal of detailed research and his contribution is welcome. However, because it is apparently a labor of love, he tends to take Kerensky far too seriously and also to believe that he was far more important than he was in the event. Kerensky was a failure as a leader, yet Abraham has respect even for his last gasps, such as his death. bed insult of Lenin--he claimed that Lenin's ""sickness"" (Bolshevism) was all due to syphilis. It is certainly high time that a book devoted to Kerensky appeared. Political failures can be as instructive as successes, perhaps even more so. It is unfortunate that Abraham did not approach his task from this point of view, but rather embraced the image of Kerensky the Hero, who seemed ill-suited for that role as early as 1917.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Columbia Univ. Press