Stormy Passage: A Personal History through Two Russian Revolutions to Democracy and Freedom: 1905-1960

Stormy Passage: A Personal History through Two Russian Revolutions to Democracy and Freedom: 1905-1960

Stormy Passage: A Personal History through Two Russian Revolutions to Democracy and Freedom: 1905-1960

Stormy Passage: A Personal History through Two Russian Revolutions to Democracy and Freedom: 1905-1960

Excerpt

Stormy Passage is the autobiography of my late friend, Wladimir S. Woytinsky. It needs no introduction. Epic in quality, it is a contemporary contribution to heroic literature. This fact is important. In our era heroes have not been wanting. It is high time we knew them.

The American scholarly world and especially the labor movement have known Wladimir Woytinsky and Emma, his wife and colleague, for nearly three decades as quiet, effective, immensely learned scholars of economics and political science. Their works, World Population and Production and World Commerce and Governments, perhaps their best-known books in English, have been mines of information and ideas for many years. Few American readers realize that Wladimir Woytinsky had lived with and been a part of the Russian social movement since his student days in St. Petersburg; that he had entered the Russian revolution as a student in 1905; that he had been a consistent opponent of the Tsarist government; that he had known Lenin since 1906 and had broken with him in 1917. For a decade he had been in and out of imperial prisons, fortresses, death cells, and Siberian penitentiaries. As the Tsar fell, he preceded Lenin's return to Petrograd in 1917. He had been editor of Izvestia and part of the Petrograd Soviet when the moderate socialists were overcome by the rising and ruthless Bolshevist power. While exiled by the Tsarist government to Irkutsk he had met Emma, daughter of a Siberian building contractor, married her, and spent his honeymoon on the Mongolian border even as Russia disintegrated in defeat in World War I and loosed the forces of revolution throughout the world.

The passionate explosion in Petrograd, as Lenin overthrew Kerensky and hunted the moderates out of Russia, foundWoytinsky on the Socialist instead of the Communist side. Once more he became a fortress prisoner. Facing a mob trial for his life (it was not the first occasion of the sort), he escaped the Red Guards. In the ensuing confusion, he and Emma made their way to Tiflis in the Caucasus. Thence he came once more to Europe, via Constantinople, as a representative of the then independent Republic of Georgia. When that country was wiped out by the Soviet Union in 1922, Woytinsky was in Italy, and in renewed tragedy as he watched Mussolini ride the tide of anarchy to Fascist dictatorship.

He then settled in the Weimar Republic of Germany. In his new exile he wrote in German and Russian his famous encyclopedic work (in seven volumes), The World in Figures. It was an instant European success. This established him as one of the foremost modern econo-

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.