Runaway Russia: An American Woman Reports on the Russian Revolution

A “Gripping Account” —The Wall Street Journal

Florence Harper was the first American female journalist in Petrograd. Sure that trouble was coming, she waited “as I would for a circus parade.” From the women’s bread protests of the heady first days when the mob seemed “good-natured” to the later horror of the “Marseillaise”-singing crowds being mowed down by machine guns, she remained undaunted, repeatedly returning to the streets despite the dangers she courted daily. She searched the morgues so that she could do a story on the victims. ‘‘I did not wait to count the coffins. It was too harrowing,” she reports. She did watch the hated police being thrown off roofs and also ran the gantlet of the mutinous Kronstadt sailors, who she recalls “all looked like cutthroats.” Allied officers at her hotel smashed the contents of its cellars till they were “literally knee deep in everything from champagne to vodka” to prevent the mob from getting at them. The stoicism and sympathy with which she endured it all shine forth from this gripping account.
Helen Rappaport, The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2017

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