Under the Blows of the Counterrevolution
by Nestor Makhno
Nestor Makhno (1888-1934) was a peasant anarcho-communist who organized an experiment in anarchist values in practice in southeast Ukraine during the Russian Revolution and Civil War.
This is the second volume of his memoirs, originally published in France in 1936 and published in English here for the first time.
Under the Blows of the Counterrevolution describes Makhno’s odyssey through revolutionary Russia in the spring of 1918. Driven from his Ukrainian village by a German invasion, he wandered through a nation torn by civil war, encountered various remarkable personalities, and survived hair-raising adventures.
This volume has interested historians mainly because of Makhno’s account of his interview with Lenin, but it also contains much valuable eye-witness information about a period of Soviet history which was later almost completely rewritten in officially sanctioned accounts.
Includes the original preface and notes by Makno’s sometime colleague Vsevolod Volin.
214 pp. including photos, maps, glossary, explanatory notes, appendix, etc.
English translation and editing by Malcolm Archibald.
ISBN 978-0-9737827-5-2 $22.00
"Externally Makhno did not create the impression of being an outstanding person. Short in stature with a sallow complexion, he was poorly educated and his health was anything but robust. But in the imagination of the people Makhno more than other leaders fit the concept of "hero". He wasn't a cabinet minister or a staff officer manipulating the lives of thousands of people by signing orders. He was a politician and a commander inseparable from the milieu of the people — he was one of them and he remained one of them. Directly risking his own life and an expert in the use of weaponry, he possessed the same virtues and suffered from the same flaws as the people themselves. In times of peace he lived the simple life of an ordinary person."
– V. Chop