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Untimely Thoughts

Untimely Thoughts: Essays on Revolution, Culture, and the Bolsheviks, 1917-1918

With a new introduction and chronology by Mark D. Steinberg
Translated from the Russian and with notes by Herman Ermolaev
Copyright Date: 1968
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 342
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  • Book Info
    Untimely Thoughts
    Book Description:

    One of the most renowned Soviet writers of the twentieth century, Maxim Gorky was an early supporter of the Bolsheviks who became disillusioned with the turn of events after the 1917 revolution. This brilliant and controversial book is a collection of the critical articles Gorky wrote that describe the Russian national character, condemn the Bolshevik methods of government, and provide a vision of the future.

    "An important book of as much interest now as at the time it was written."-Walter Laqueur

    "Untimely Thoughtsis now timely. Gorky's journalistic pieces are immensely interesting as a commentary on a period of revolution, turmoil, and violence and on the play of forces trying to seize control of the country in a situation close to anarchy-that is, a situation very much like that of Russia today."-Gary Saul Morson, Northwestern University

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16209-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xxxv)
    Mark D. Steinberg

    Among the many texts by Russian writers and intellectuals that were suppressed in the Soviet Union, Maxim Gorky’s essays of 1917–1918 stand out as exceptional historical and personal documents. Appearing during a time of deep crisis and radical transformation in Russian life, these essays on politics, culture, and morality offer among the most searching reflections on the meaning of Russia’s revolution. This was a sharply critical view, but it was the dissenting view of an insider. “Gorky is one us,” Lenin observed in 1918, as he gave the approval to shut down the independent socialist newspaperNovaia zhizn’(New...

  4. CHRONOLOGY OF THE REVOLUTION February 1917–July 1918
    (pp. xxxvi-xlii)
    Mark D. Steinberg
    (pp. 1-1)
    (pp. 2-2)
  7. ESSAYS from Novaya Zhizn
    (pp. 3-242)

    If we try to take in, at a single glance, all the apparently diverse activities of the monarchist regime in the realm of “internal policy,” the meaning of these activities will appear before us as an all-out effort by the bureaucracy to check the quantitative and qualitative development of our thinking material.

    The old rulers were shiftless and giftless, but their instinct of self-preservation correctly showed them that their most dangerous enemy was the human brain, and, consequently, by all means available to them, they tried to hamper or distort the growth of the country’s intellectual forces. In this criminal...

  8. NOTES
    (pp. 243-296)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 297-300)