Russia in Flux

Russia in Flux

Russia in Flux

Russia in Flux

Excerpt

From the Preface by Sir Ernest Barker, Emeritus Professor of Political Science in the University of Cambridge, formerly President of Kings College, London, to The Russian Peasant and Other Studies.

It was in 1918 that I had the honour of writing an introduction to a volume published by the Oxford University Press on the history of Russia from the Varangians to the Bolsheviks. Today I am honoured by my old friend, Sir John Maynard, with an invitation to write a foreword to this volume, with its study of the Russian peasant and its other essays. Friendship imposes on me a command to obey. A deep respect for the learning and the judgment of the author adds an incentive to that command. He brings to the volume which he has written singular gifts both of experience and of sympathy. A long experience in India, and particularly in the Punjab, from 1886 to 1926, has given him a background and a basis of first-hand knowledge of peasant life. He has seen and studied -- and not only studied, but helped to administer -- "another great agricultural Empire, having some remarkable resemblances to the Russia of the opening twentieth century." This experience is reinforced, and quickened, by a natural gift of social sympathy. An old member of the Fabian Society, who has more than once contested a constituency as a Labour candidate, Sir John Maynard brings to his studies of the Russian peasant, and of Russian labour, an instinctive and understanding spirit of sympathetic comprehension.

There is another great qualification which Sir John Maynard brings to his interpretation of Russia. He has studied, with a quiet patience and unflagging industry, both the literature and the social philosophy of Russia (so great and so influential) and the process of her historical development. Too often we begin our study of Russia with the triumph of the Communist Party in the November Revolution of 1917; too often we forget that Russia, with all her changes, still largely remains the same. To study this volume is to receive a valuable lesson in depth -- the depth which comes from an historic outlook added to personal experience enriched by social sympathy. It is this combination which makes the author so safe a guide. The historic outlook, by itself, might lead to mere conservatism. Social sympathy, by itself, might lead to uncritical laudation. When the two are mixed, and personal experience is added to both, the reader can feel a just confidence.

Some words may be quoted from the author's last chapter, which illustrate admirably what has just been said. "Russia is in flux; but it . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.