A new book on Russian History, attempts to broaden the view of Russian History. Particularly, how the world sees it.
To understand how the world sees Russia; one should note that the Russian History is primarily what the Communists, who came to power in 1917 (the Bolsheviks) wanted the world to see. In this view, Russia is seen as a country where people wanted to be equal, and happily worked in big agricultural farms and industries owned by the State; and the people hated the Czar.
Hence, when Travel Channel host Anthony Bourdain visited the Chinese city of Harbin, and encountered a Russian Orthodox Church that featured an onion-shaped dome on it; he was surprised. When he was informed that the Russian Orthodox Church located in that town, was built by the then-Russian Czar Nicholas II to provide a house of worship for the Russians who had emigrated to Hartshorne and neighboring communities to mine coal out of the red soil of Oklahoma in the late 1800s; like most others Bourdain scratched his head.
What he knew about Czar, was totally different from what the Church offers to portray.
The New Book, “Russia, a Thousand Year History of the Wild East” by Martin Sixsmith, aims to put many such aspects of Russian History right.
What the Book offers:
The book, which tries to bring to fore a different perspective to Russian History, to summarize, tries to bring one simple point: The Bolshevik rule in Russia was not much different from the Royal Rule or the Rule of the Czar; As there were haters and lovers of both the rules. In simple, if people hated Czar, then people hated Communists Rule as well.
For instance, after the minority party of the Bolsheviks seized power in a coup in Russia in 1917, the Czar and his family were exiled to the small Siberian community of Ekaterinburg. The Czar’s desire to take refuge in England; was declined by England for the reason that this could spawn anti-royalist sentiments in England.
The book makes it clear that the Bolsheviks were a fanatical party, who couldn’t tolerate anyone going the way, other than its way. Hence, the Bolshevik rule was laced with atrocities on Russian people.
Throwing a different light on Bolshevik leader, Nikoli Lenin, whose remains are still on display in the Russian capital of Moscow, was venerated for more than seven decades in Russia for his creation of the Soviet Union and his supposed devotion to the workers and peasants (After his death at the age of 53 in 1924 the city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in his honor); the book demonstrates that Lenin, who grew up in a wealthy Russian family and had spent most of his life in exile, had little knowledge or interest in the lives of the ordinary people in Russia.
The July 17, 1918, the execution of the Czar and his immediate family were made on Lenin’s orders, as an exercise to milk people’s immediate sentiments. But in time the government installed by Lenin, realized that the anti Czar sentiment among people is not that strong which it earlier anticipated; hence th party started distancing itself from its founders’ link to that occurrence and it would be said that it was done at the behest of local officials in Ekaterinburg without the authorization of the Bolshevik Party leadership in Moscow.
The author writes about his visit to Ekaterinburg and reports there is now a Russian Orthodox church adjacent to the site of the execution, and that people from throughout Russia can be seen there paying homage to the murdered Czar and his family.
The book also says that Lenin would oversee the construction of a vast prison complex in Siberia where enemies of his regime would toil in grim conditions. He also would create a secret police force that was not subject to any oversight by any governmental entity. His successor, Joseph Stalin, would murder millions of Russians when he collectivized agriculture in the 1930s and the secret police would send thousands of people to the prison complex set up by Lenin that would become known as the “Gulag Archipelago.”
The book reveals many such facts, which go contrary to the Russian History fed to the world so far.
The book indirectly asks, if all was well with the communist rule in Russia, then why in late December 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved into 15 republics; and earlier that year, Boris Yeltsin had been elected the president of Russia in the first free national election to be held there. In addition, why the citizens of Leningrad had voted overwhelmingly in that election to return their city to its original name of St. Petersburg; when people simply loved the communist regime and loathed the Czar.
More About the Book:
by: Martin Sixsmith
publisher: Overlook Hardcover, published: 2012-03-15
sales rank: 133802
price: $18.95 (new), $13.50 (used)
Marking the twentieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complex political landscape of Russia and its unique place in the modern world.