Memoirs of a Revolutionist (Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science)

Memoirs of a Revolutionist (Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science)

Peter Kropotkin

Language: English

Pages: 608

ISBN: 0486473163

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Born into a wealthy family of landowners, Prince Peter Alexeivich Kropotkin (1842-1921) served in the court of the Tsar and held prestigious diplomatic posts. But the prince renounced his life of privilege to embrace nonviolent anarchism, a revolutionary alternative to Marxism. A leading theoretician of his day, Kropotkin wrote the basic books in the library of anarchism, prepared countless pamphlets and speeches, and worked tirelessly to subvert the class structure and promote a philosophy of collective action.  
In this autobiography, Kropotkin recounts his early life in the royal court and his military service in Siberia, along with his imprisonment, escape, and European exile. His portraits of nineteenth-century Russian life rival those of the great novelists, ranging from moving examples of the unbridgeable chasm between nobles and serfs to gripping scenes of midnight plots enacted outside the Kremlin’s walls. An eminent geographer and cartographer, Kropotkin also offers fascinating views from his explorations of Siberia. An Introduction and explanatory notes enhance this unabridged edition of a thrilling real-life story of idealism and adventure.

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prevented joint action in labour disputes, were disappearing. The workers asserted with increasing emphasis that of all the divisions which exist in modern society by far the most important is that between the owners of capital and those who not only come into the world penniless, but are doomed to remain producers of wealth for the favoured few. Italy, especially middle and northern Italy, was honey-combed with groups and sections of the International; and in these the Italian unity so long

Serghéi to leave St. Petersburg — actually forced them, imperiously ordering them to leave. Only five or six of us remained to transact all the business of our circle. I intended, as soon as I should have delivered my report to the Geographical Society, to go to the south-west of Russia, and there to start a sort of land league, similar to the league which became so powerful in Ireland at the end of the seventies. After two months of relative quiet, we learned in the middle of March that nearly

philosophical conception and humanitarian understanding and an artistic beauty which have no parallel in any other literature. Yet ‘Fathers and Sons’ — a novel which he rightly considered his profoundest work — was received by the young people of Russia with a loud protest. Our youth declared that the Nihilist Bazároff was by no means a true representation of his class; many described him even as a caricature of Nihilism. This misunderstanding deeply affected Turguéneff, and, although a

egoistic, a man absolutely incapable of contracting an attachment to anyone. This feature was prominent in him, even more than it was in his father. As to his education, all the pains taken by his mother were of no avail. In August 1861 his examinations, which were made in the presence of his father, proved to be a dead failure, and I remember Alexander II., at a parade of which the heir-apparent was the commander, and during which he made some mistake, loudly shouting out, so that everyone would

and bit off in a special way microscopic particles from a small lump of sugar which was to serve for half a dozen cups. We knew that the Cossacks would soon make out the truth about me, but the important thing was to win a few days only, and to cross the frontier while my identity was not yet discovered. I must have played my part pretty well, as the Cossacks treated me as a small merchant. In one village an old woman beckoned me in the passage and asked me: ‘Are there more people coming behind

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