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November 1916 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

November 1916 (1983)

by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Red wheel (knot 2)

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*** I received my copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads (but I promise that did not influence my thoughts on this book).
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
This is a continuation of Solzhenitsyn's treatment of Russia's involvement in World War I. The events leading up to the 1917 revolution also begin to play a prominent role. While the first installment, August, 1914 was highly readable and absolutely compelling, I abandoned this one about half-way through.

The book is dense and extremely detailed, and for the most part reads like a dry history treatise. The novelistic aspects and characters of August 1914 play second fiddle. Solzhenitsyn has also chosen to include huge bundles of source documents, transcripts of Duma proceedings for example, within the narrative itself. To give you an idea of what you can expect to find in the book, here is the headnote description of Chapter 7, the origins of the Kadets:

How did the schism begin?--why were the terrorists in such a hurry?--terror as an assertion of righteousness--liberalism's leftward deviation--difficulty of the middle line--original orientation of the Russian zemstovo--how it differed from western local governmental institutions--Alexandr III puts the brakes on--self-limitation in the conduct of state affairs?--Nikolai II and "groundless dreams"--the idee fixe: hold back from evolution--Shipov's interprovincial conference in 1902--the government's flat refusal--differentiation of zemstovo groups--formation of the League of Liberation--its program and tactics..

Yikes--I just turned the page and saw that the above is only about 1/4 of what Solzhenitsen outlines he will cover in Chapter 7 of the supposed novel.

I simply am not the reader for this book. I am sure there is much to admire in it, especially for a scholar of early twentieth century Russian history, the book was too much for me. You can decide if it sounds like something you'd enjoy
  arubabookwoman | May 23, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandrprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adrian, EsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374223149, Hardcover)

In August 1914 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn began his epic account of the events leading up to the Russian Revolution. Subtitled The Red Wheel/Knot I, the book was the first in a projected trilogy. It took more than 20 years for the second in the series to make its debut, but November 1916: The Red Wheel/Knot II picks up in the latter years of the war and chronicles the events between the end of October and the middle of November 1916. Though Solzhenitsyn himself admits that little of historical significance occurred during those few weeks, his novel is jam-packed with enough three-dimensional characters and tangled life stories to more than make up for the dearth of history. Cutting back and forth between the Russian frontlines, the fiercely divided Duma, an increasingly seditious peasantry, and various revolutionary groups, November 1916 masterfully re-creates the bubbling undercurrent of violence and cataclysmic change that would erupt in just a few short months. From Nicholas and Alexandra in St. Petersburg to Lenin in Switzerland, and a whole host of fictional characters in between, Solzhenitsyn brings the people, the problems, and the era to life. --Margaret Prior

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Second installment of his Red wheel trilogy, continuing from August 1914. The second volume tells of the later part of the war and the events leading up to the Russian Revolution.

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