Upon arrival in Petrograd in 1919, Victor Serge—the great chronicler of the Russian Revolution—found a society shredded by civil war. Threatened on all sides by invading armies from fourteen countries, and attacked from within by counterrevolutionary forces seeking to restore the Tsar, the fledgeling revolution was facing its darkest hours.
In these essays Serge paints a stark picture of the desperate conditions faced by Petrograd's working class, capturing the revolutionary enthusiasm that stood as the last defense of their besieged city. Challenging the revolution's critics, Serge defends the measures the revolutionary government was forced to take to preserve the gains workers and peasants had made in overthrowing Tsarist tyranny and pulling Russia out of World War I.
This is an inspiring account of the struggle to defend workers' power and Serge' enthusiasm for the revolution—and the prospect of a better future it represented.