chapter
Introduction
Pages 16

When news of the October Revolution reached the West, most newspapers both failed to recognise the significance of the coup d’état and mistook the characters of its protagonists. Who were these men who had triumphed, and who were their real leaders? To such questions the newspapers had no answers. The names of most of the members of the new Bolshevik government in Petrotrad did not mean much even to the best-informed journalists, and the press provided its news-hungry public with completely fictitious biographies. The names of Lenin and of some of his comrades, such as Trotsky or Lunacharsky, were known to only a small circle of socialist leaders who had attended congresses of the International. They had been scarcely interested at that time in these revolutionary Russian émigrés who had given so much trouble to the International before 1914 with their divergences and internal struggles: and so their lives had remained unknown.