Orlando Figes

A People´s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924


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Wonderful. If there's a man who can write non-fiction books Orlando Figes is one. I wish he would write about other times and places, I would buy his books immediately. His other book on Russia's culture (Natasha's Dance) is also great. The best thing about this author is that anything he writes about, no matter how complicated it may seem or how foreign it may be, he makes it vivid and absorbing. Reading him is like having your best friend trying to make you understand something you've been studying but still can't get the gist of.

I like the way he presents us with the facts. It's not deferential to any political side. He talks about the people, not about ideas or policies. He lets us know how people lived, their environment, their heritage and personal backgrounds, how they felt and what they believed in, what they lacked and what they wanted. It's all about people. You see what they did, you know their circumstances, then you judge. I love that.

I did notice, though, that the author tends to explain (or should I say blame?) failure many times on lack of a consensus between factions, which seems to me a childish excuse, an easy scapegoat. Then, when he presents other versions of the facts, and compares them to his, he always makes sure his version stands middle-of-the-way between the "rightist" and the "leftist". But I doubt if there really exists any "rightist" version at all in some cases. Anyway, this book was a pleasure to read.


"Es cierto que el Romano es libre de hacer todo lo que quiera. Pero también lo es que tiene que soportar las consecuencias de sus actos. No importa que se haya equivocado, que le hayan engañado o incluso forzado: un hombre no se deja forzar: etiamsi coactus, attamen voluit. Es libre; pero si distraído, imprudente o atontado, prometió pagar una determinada cantidad y no puede pagarla, se convierte en esclavo de su acreedor."

Rudolph von Ihering

“Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them.”

Frédéric Bastiat

On the true nature of the Castro Revolution in Cuba: "The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti -In the Pirate's Den

La anarquía, es decir, la ausencia de fuerza estatal, no es una forma de Estado, y cualquiera que acabe con ella por el medio que sea, el usurpador nacional o el conquistador extranjero, rinde un servicio a la sociedad. Es un salvador, un bienhechor, porque la forma más insoportable de Estado es la ausencia de Estado.


Rudolph von Ihering

"El envidioso está afligido no solo por sus males propios, sino por los bienes de los demás."  -Hipias

[la norma de conducta de los progres] "No hacer nada que alguien pueda envidiarme." -Hipasos

NINOTCHKA,

O EL DISCRETO DESENCANTO CON EL SOCIALISMO 

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Seguimos a la espera de la reedición de este importante libro del gran escritor español José Pla

Historia de la Segunda República.

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También a la espera de este importante libro del genial Rafael Abella.

Finales de enero, 1939, Barcelona cambia de piel

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