• E. H. Carr


Herzen(who was not, however, there to see) declares that the first days of the February revolution were the happiest of Bakunin’s life. Revolution was his element. He had dedicated himself to it; and for the first time he met it face to face. Life had acquired a purpose. Bakunin noted with satisfaction that the dandies young and old in their fashionable carriages, the idlers with cane and lorgnette who were an essential part of the Paris he knew, had disappeared from the boulevards. Instead, there were the barricades of stones and broken furniture piled up as high as the house-tops, and red flags and revolutionary songs and an atmosphere of universal enthusiasm and good-will. Bakunin was far from the disillusioned realism which made him admit, in the evening of his days, that revolution, seen at close quarters, was an ugly business. Now everything was young and glorious, full of hope and of belief in the dignity and virtue of free humanity. The French proletariat, whom he had scarcely noticed before, became “my noble working-men”.


Secret Society Russian Minister Russian Revolution Provisional Government Slav Problem 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

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  • E. H. Carr

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