Russia Twenty Years After - Victor Serge Summary
Victor Serge (1890-1947), historian, translator and novelist, a Belgian-born Russian, was politically active in seven countries, participated in three revolutions, and spent more than ten years in various captivities. He was born in political exile of Russian anarchist parents who had been implicated in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, and he died in exile in Mexico. Russia Twenty Years After, his first major work, was written just after his harrowing release and expulsion from the Stalinist gulag, where he had spent three years as an intransigent oppositionist to the regime. It is still one of the most important documentary accounts of the then-emerging Stalinist system. Stalin almost stilled Serge's voice, but in exile Serge, along with Leon Trotsky, took up the defense of those falsely accused and silenced and tried to alert the world to what Stalin was doing in the name of socialism in the USSR, and to analyze how the Russian Revolution, which had been the hope for humankind, was in the process of devouring itself. This edition also includes Serge's "Thirty Years after the Russian Revolution", his eloquent summary and analysis of the Stalinist counterrevolution that has never before been published in English. The introductory essay by Susan Weissman introduces the reader to Serge, evaluating his contribution to our current understanding of the former Soviet Union. She also updates Serge's accounts of the fate of various oppositionists with information from the newly opened Soviet archives.