TO BREAK RUSSIA'S CHAINS
Boris Sakinov and His Wars Against the Tsar and the Bolsheviks
A brilliant examination of the enigmatic Russian revolutionary about whom Winston Churchill said "few men tried more, gave more, dared more and suffered more for the Russian people," and who remains a legendary and controversial figure in his homeland today.
Neither a "Red" nor a "White," Savinkov lived an epic life that challenges many popular myths about the Russian Revolution, which was arguably the most important catalyst of twentieth-century world history. All of Savinkov's efforts were directed at transforming his homeland into a uniquely democratic, humane and enlightened state. There are aspects of his violent legacy that will, and should, remain frozen in the past as part of the historical record. But the support he received from many of his countrymen suggests that the paths Russia took during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries--the tyranny of communism, the authoritarianism of Putin's regime--were not the only ones written in her historical destiny. Savinkov's goals remain a poignant reminder of how things in Russia could have been, and how, perhaps, they may still become someday.
Written with novelistic verve and filled with the triumphs, disasters, dramatic twists and contradictions that defined Savinkov's life, this book shines a light on an extraordinary man who tried to change Russian and world history.
Vladimir Alexandrov received a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Princeton. He taught Russian literature and culture at Harvard before moving to Yale, where he is now B.E. Bensinger Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures. He is the author of The Black Russian as well as books on Bely, Nabokov, and Tolstoy, and lives in Hamden, Connecticut.