August 1914 by Alexander Solzhenistyn


Used hardcover; dust jacket has some wear; great condition overall.

In his monumental narrative of the outbreak of the First World War and the ill-fated Russian offensive into East Prussia, Solzhenitsyn has written what Nina Krushcheva, in The Nation, calls “a dramatically new interpretation of Russian history.” The assassination of tsarist prime minister Pyotr Stolypin, a crucial event in the years leading up to the Revolution of 1917, is reconstructed from the alienating viewpoints of historical witnesses. The sole voice of reason among the advisers to Tsar Nikolai II, Stolypin died at the hands of the anarchist Mordko Bogrov, and with him perished Russia’s last hope for reform. Translated by H.T. Willetts.

August 1914 is the first and best known of the four Nodes that constitute The Red Wheel. By concentrating on a couple of crucial weeks at the beginning of the First World War, Solzhenitsyn highlights the underlying sclerosis and vulnerability of a Russian old regime whose stability was erroneously taken for granted by revolutionaries and reactionaries alike. In fact, the regime’s ignorance and incompetence reared its head at the Battle of Tannenberg in East Prussia, a great military confrontation between the Russian 1st and 2nd armies and the German 8th Army that took place between August 17 and September 1, 1914.  Tannenberg was a catastrophic defeat—over a hundred thousand Russian troops were killed or captured—that was a portent of disasters to come. Much of August 1914 is dedicated to describing the mistakes, misjudgments, and false assumptions that culminated in Russian defeat at Tannenberg. These mistakes even included the failure to encrypt messages that were sent to commanders on the front! (Read more at the Aleksandr Solzenitsyn Center)

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Additional information

Weight 36 oz
Dimensions 10 × 7 × 2.5 in


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