I continue to read The Square and the Tower, and very good it is too, just like it says inside the front cover and on the back cover.
In the chapter about the Russian Revolution, appropriately entitled “The Plague”, we read (by which I mean that I read (on pages 214-5)) this:
It is now well known that fewer people were killed in the October Revolution than were killed in the shooting of Sergei Eisenstein’s tenth-anniversary film about it.
Well, this may now be “well-known”, but I did not know it.
Not that this makes the event insignificant. After it, the “plague” spread with astonishing speed.
Only amongst the vast peasantry and the Cossacks did the Bolsheviks lack leaders – which helps explain therapid descent of Russia into an urban-rural civil war in the course of 1918. Essentially, the Bolshevik virus travelled by train and telegraph; and literate soldiers; sailors and workers were the most susceptible to it.
That literacy was at the heart of the Bolshevik story is something that I did know.