Magazine November 29, 2021, Issue

The Revolutionary Chaos of March 1917

USSR Soviet Union Flag emblem (phot705/Getty Images)
March 1917: The Red Wheel, Node III, Book 3, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, translated by Marian Schwartz (Notre Dame, 712 pp., $42)

France and Great Britain were always rather embarrassed by their World War I alliance with autocratic Russia. It came as something of a relief, therefore, when word reached them that Czar Nikolai II’s government had collapsed in the streets of Petrograd and been succeeded by a democratic “provisional government”; they could then claim that the war pitted democracy against authoritarianism. In this volume of The Red Wheel, his novelistic history of the Russian Revolution, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn cited elated members of the French parliament: “In your revolution lies the entire future of international democracy.” More important, he pointed out, not by

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This article appears as “Revolution and Chaos” in the November 29, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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Lee CongdonMr. Congdon is the author of Solzhenitsyn: The Historical-Spiritual Destinies of Russia and the West.

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