Two Idealist Bolsheviks: Chicherin and Yenukidze
CHICHERIN WAS PERHAPS THE only leading Bolshevik who never succeeded in divorcing himself from his aristocratic past. Like Leonid Gayef, Anton Chekhov's nostalgic nobleman in The Cherry Orchard, the late Foreign Commissar loved to think of his ancestral estate and was fond of Slav tradition.
Chicherin was a tall man with a sparse reddish beard and a reddish balding head. He had round gray eyes and was for that reason, as well as for a habit of working at night, nicknamed "the Owl." A scholarly descendant of the nobility, he had felt in his youth that Russia had a sacred mission to show the world a way out of the jungle of social injustice.
After a brief career as a diplomat abroad, Chicherin broke with his family and left the service, becoming one of those penniless revolutionary emigrés who bided their time in Western Europe, waiting for the Revolution of 1917. In recognition of his brilliant abilities and many services to the party, Lenin had him appointed Commissar of Foreign Affairs. Throughout the civil war the commissar was wholly absorbed in his work at the