The First Revolution’s First Anniversary

1917 had seen, of course, two revolutions.  For the author of this book, Two paths : February and October, M.V. Vishniak, the experience of the two was very different.  The February Revolution had seen Vishniak involved closely in the Russian political structures set up in response to the revolution (he was even a member of the short-lived Constituent Assembly), but the October Revolution saw him eventually depart the country for good.  He lived in Paris, where this book was published, until World War 2, when he moved to New York.

In his introduction, Vishniak explains that Two paths was written not to go over established or new facts but to examine points of view.  Some of the book’s chapters are more general but most are dedicated to a single person’s views.  Those whose opinions Vishniak addresses represented a mix of political parties: Constitutional Democrat Pavel Miliuko, Menshevik Nikolai Sukhanov, Bolshevik (and earlier Menshevik) Lev Trotsky, Left Socialist Isaak Shteinberg, and Socialist Revolutionary Fedor Stepun (Vishniak also belonged to this party).  Vishniak’s own views can be clearly gleaned from the titles of the last two chapters of the book – ‘The meaning of February’ and ‘The myth of October’.

Dva puti : fevral’ i oktiabr’ / M.V. Visniak (1931) 586:9.d.90.36