Orlando Figes

A People´s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924


Wonderful. If there's a man who can write non-fiction books Orlando Figes is one. I wish he would write about other times and places, I would buy his books immediately. His other book on Russia's culture (Natasha's Dance) is also great. The best thing about this author is that anything he writes about, no matter how complicated it may seem or how foreign it may be, he makes it vivid and absorbing. Reading him is like having your best friend trying to make you understand something you've been studying but still can't get the gist of.

I like the way he presents us with the facts. It's not deferential to any political side. He talks about the people, not about ideas or policies. He lets us know how people lived, their environment, their heritage and personal backgrounds, how they felt and what they believed in, what they lacked and what they wanted. It's all about people. You see what they did, you know their circumstances, then you judge. I love that.

I did notice, though, that the author tends to explain (or should I say blame?) failure many times on lack of a consensus between factions, which seems to me a childish excuse, an easy scapegoat. Then, when he presents other versions of the facts, and compares them to his, he always makes sure his version stands middle-of-the-way between the "rightist" and the "leftist". But I doubt if there really exists any "rightist" version at all in some cases. Anyway, this book was a pleasure to read.




On Cuba's Revolution:

"The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti, In the Pirate's Den

España [por el contrario de Estados Unidos] se ha ido configurando, siglo a siglo, como una sociedad herida por la envidia, en la que todavía hacer demagogia con la pobreza rinde réditos electorales y donde los que han tenido o tienen grandes riquezas -tanto los progres como la iglesia católica– no pocas veces predican la solidaridad con el prójimo a la vez que protegen sus patrimonios nada desdeñables en SICAVs, algo, dicho sea de paso, bastante lógico tal y como está el panorama fiscal.”

César Vidal en su artículo Las razones de una diferencia en Libertaddigital.com

2. La Constitución se fundamenta en la indisoluble unidad de la Nación española, patria común e indivisible de todos los españoles.

3.1. El castellano es la lengua española oficial del Estado. Todos los españoles tienen el deber de conocerla y el derecho a usarla.

'The Pale Maiden'
"Thus heaven I've forfeited,
I know it full well
My soul, once true to God
Is chosen for hell."

by Karl Marx

from Richard Wurmbrand´s book on Marx

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