Book Nook: Spies and Commissars - the Early Years of the Russian Revolution, by Robert Service

Jun 21, 2012

The British historian Robert Service is a leading authority on Russian history with a particular expertise in the period between the October Revolution and the death of Stalin. He is the author of a dozen books including a trilogy of biographies on Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky.

In his latest, "Spies and Commissars - the Early Years of the Russian Revolution," Service examines the four year period from 1917 to 1921 when the Bolsheviks were consolidating their power.

Service shows how Lenin had hoped that similar revolts would occur in Europe during the period of instability following the end of the World War and what prevented these revolutions from happening. Readers meet a number of flamboyant spies who operated during this period. And we discover that a future US President, Herbert Hoover, was instrumental in tamping down discontent through the palliative of massive shipments of food aid to war torn regions.