George Harrap and Co 1938 Hardback. Lyons, Eugene 658pp Overall condition good. Dust Jacket fair. Open and closed tears. Loss at the top of spine from shelf wear. Tanned and foxed. Not price clipped. Book condition good. Red boards with black titling. Slight dent on top edge of front board. Endpapers and pastedowns foxed. Owner's inscription. on ffep
It's possible that this book influenced George Orwell in assembling the plot and characters of Animal Farm
Here is part of his review of this book
"The years that Mr Lyons spent in Russia were years of appalling hardship, culminating in the Ukraine famine of 1933, which a number estimated at not less than three million people starved to death. Now, no doubt, after the success of the Second Five Year Plan, the physical conditions have improved, but there seems no reason for thinking that the social atmosphere is greatly different. The system that Mr Lyons describes does not seem to be very different from Fascism. All real power is concentrated in the hands of two or three million people, the town proletariat, theoretically the heirs of the revolution, having been robbed by the elementary right to strike; more recently by the introduction of the internal passport, they have been reduced to a status resembling serfdom. The G.P.U. are everywhere, everyone lives in constant terror of denunciation, freedom of speech and of the press are obliterated to an extent we can hardly imagine. There are periodical waves of terror, sometimes the ‘liquidation' of kulaks or Nepmen, sometimes some monstrous state trial at which people who have been in prison for months or years are suddenly dragged forth to make incredible confessions, while their children publish articles in the newspapers saying ‘I repudiate my father as a Trotskyist serpent.' Meanwhile the invisible Stalin is worshipped in terms that would have made Nero blush. This -- at great length and in much detail -- is the picture Mr Lyons presents, and I do not believe he has misrepresented the facts. He does, however, show signs of being embittered by his experiences, and I think he probably exaggerates the amount of discontent prevailing among the Russians themselves.
He once succeeded in interviewing Stalin, and found him human, simple and likeable. It is worth noticing that H. G. Wells said the same thing, and it is a fact that Stalin, at any rate on the cinematograph, has a likeable face. Is it not also recorded that Al Capone was the best of husbands and fathers, and that Joseph Smith (of brides in the bath fame) was sincerely loved by the first of his seven wives and always returned between murders?"