Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

Six Weeks in Russia in 1919

Background to Six Weeks in Russia in 1919

In August, 1918, censorship and civil war forced Ransome to leave Russia for Stockholm. He remained there until January, 1919, when the Swedes expelled him. The Soviet Government then allowed him to return to Russia, where he spent February and March, gathering material for a history of the Russian Revolution and a report for the British Government.

Ransome never completed a full history of the Russian Revolution. But on his return to Britain he persuaded Stanley Unwin to publish a book on Russian affairs. In this work, Ransome was determined “to counteract the misinformation which seemed to me to have launched us on a course that must end in disaster” – ie the British Government’s policy of military intervention in the Russian Civil War.

He wrote Six Weeks in Russia (and his report for the Foreign Office) in 19 days, working sixteen hours a day at his mother’s house in Leeds. It proved very popular with readers, and rather less popular with the Foreign Office. More significantly it impressed C P Scott, the editor of the Manchester Guardian, who subsequently hired Ransome as his correspondent in Russia.

First publication

Published by George Allen & Unwin, Ltd in June, 1919.

Availability

  • In Print
  • Faber Finds ISBN 978-0571269068

Ransome's drawing of a crucible held in iron bars, our political literature logo, used for Six Weeks in Russia in 1919

The little book makes no claim to knowledge of politics or economics, but it does give a fair picture of what Moscow was like in those days of starvation, high hope and unwanted war.

 

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