Portal:Anarchism/Selected article/March 2009

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Cover of the 1925 edition of Berkman's The Bolshevik Myth

The Bolshevik Myth (Diary 1920–1922) is a book by Alexander Berkman describing his experiences in Bolshevist Russia from 1920 to 1922, where he saw the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Written in the form of a diary, The Bolshevik Myth charts Berkman's recollections after having been deported from the United States along with Emma Goldman and over two hundred socialists, anarchists and other leftists.

The book describes how Berkman's initial enthusiasm for the revolution faded as he became disillusioned with the Bolsheviks and their suppression of all political dissent. Berkman recounts the economic scarcity in the cities of Petrograd and Moscow, his meeting with Lenin and his intercessions with the Bolshevik leadership on behalf of anarchist political prisoners. Berkman and Goldman learn of the anarchist Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine fighting the Bolsheviks in the Free Territory, and of the Kronstadt rebellion against the regime in Russia. In a climate of increasing repression of anarchists, they leave the Soviet Union for the last time in 1921. The Bolshevik Myth was published to positive reviews in 1925, following Goldman's My Disillusionment in Russia (1923) and My Further Disillusionment in Russia (1924). (read more...)

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