A reader writes…

This is part of the title page to an early copy of Francis McCullagh’s A prisoner of the Reds, a work that documents some of the author’s thrilling experiences in Soviet Russia during the height of the Civil War. An Irish-born journalist, adventurer, polyglot and British Army officer, McCullagh was captured by the Bolsheviks in January 1920 while serving in the Allied intervention to support the counter-revolutionary Whites in Siberia. Released after several weeks, he subsequently infiltrated the highest levels of Soviet government posing as a foreign correspondent, personally encountering both Lenin and Trotsky. A fierce anti-Communist, McCullagh offers a sustained condemnation of Bolshevism, something with which the unknown annotator of this manuscript clearly took issue, hostilely remarking of the writer’s imprisonment, ‘Good thing too’. Successfully repatriated in May 1920, McCullagh went on to a remarkable career of further intrigue and adventure, dying in New York in 1956, aged eighty-two.

A prisoner of the Reds / by Francis McCullagh (1921)  RF.139.16

caption by James Livingstone

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