More about Orlando Figes
Orlando Figes Quotes
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On the news that the Tsar had sent the troops icons to boost their morals, General Dragomirov quipped: 'The Japanese are beating us with machine-guns, but never mind: we'll beat them with icons.
Their notion of training was to march the men up and down in parades and reviews: these were nice to look at and gave them the impression of military discipline and precision, but as a preparation for a modern war they had no value whatsoever.
Whereas in Western countries the constitution merely had to guarantee the rights of a pre-existing civil society and culture, in Russia it also had to create these. It had to educate society - and the state itself - into the values and ideas of liberal constitutionalism.
It was ironic but somehow fitting that the 1905 Revolution should have been started by an organisation dreamed up by the tsarist regime itself. No-one believed more than Father Gapon in the bond between Tsar and people.
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Technology gives us the facilities that lessen the barriers of time and distance - the telegraph and cable, the telephone, radio, and the rest.
Emily Greene Balch
November 20, 1959
Orlando Figes is a British historian and writer known for his works on Russian history. He is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London.
The Whisperers (2007)
Natasha's dance (2002)
Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A History (2014)
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