In the following pages I have tried to make a plain and easily understandable outline of the origin, history, and meaning of Bolshevism. I have attempted to provide the average American reader with a fair and reliable statement of the philosophy, program, and policies of the Russian Bolsheviki. In order to avoid confusion, and to keep the matter as simple and clear as possible, I have not tried to deal with the numerous manifestations of Bolshevism in other lands, but have confined myself strictly to the Russian example. With some detail—too much, some of my readers may think!—I have sketched the historical background in order that the Bolsheviki may be seen in proper perspective and fairly judged in connection with the whole revolutionary movement in Russia.
ery revolutionary movement has been essentially concerned with giving the land to the peasants.
Within a few months after the liberation of the serfs the revolutionary unrest was so wide-spread that the government became alarmed and instituted a policy of vigorous repression. Progressive papers, which had sprung up as a result of the liberal tendencies characterizing the reign of Alexander II thus far, were suppressed and many of the leading writers were imprisoned and exiled. Among those thus punished was that brilliant writer, Tchernyshevsky, to whom the Russian movement owes so much. His Contemporary Review was, during the four critical years 1858-62 the principal forum for the discussion of the problems most vital to the life of Russia. In it the greatest leaders of Russian thought discussed the land question, co-operation, communism, popular education, and similar subjects. This served a twofold purpose: in the first place, it brought to the study of the pressing problems of the time the able