Recollections Of A Foreign Minister

Recollections Of A Foreign Minister
  • Engels
  • Paperback
  • 9781406748703
  • maart 2007
  • 324 pagina's
Alle productspecificaties


RECOLLECTIONS OF A FOREIGN MINISTER RECOLLECTIONS OF A FOREIGN MINISTER Memoirs of Alexander Iswolsky TRANSLATED BY CHARLES LOUIS SEEGER GABDEN CITY, N. Y, AND TOBONTO DOUBLEDAY, PAGE COMPANY 1921 TRANSLATORS PREFACE THIS is but a fragment of the work that the author had planned, covering the period of his activities as Minister of Foreign Affairs 1906-1910 and Am bassador to France 1910-1917. It was to consist of three volumes, the first treating of the events fol lowing the granting of a constitutional charter to Russia the second revealing many unpublished details of the negotiations between Russia and Austria in relation to the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the ensuing formation of the Triple Entente. The third was to deal with the Balkan Wars and finally the Great War and the causes which led to it. The year of illness and anxiety for the future of his beloved country, preceding his death in August last, interfered with his literary work and prevented the completion of even the first volume. The consequent loss to history is difficult to estimate, but a careful reading of these memoirs, as far as they go, will give some measure of what that loss means, for every page testifies to the honesty, exactitude, and insight with which he records the important events and portrays the characters of the men who figured in them during the period covered by these few chapters. The great value of M. Iswolskys book is due not vi TRANSLATORS PREFACE only to his having been one of the most prominent and effective statesmen concerned in European political affairs for twelve years prior to the collapse of the Russian Empire, but even more to his innate sense of truth, which never allowshim to alter or conceal a fact for the purpose of strengthening an argument. He states only what he knows, and if he mentions a rumour he calls it that, plainly. He combined in a rare degree the qualities of a man of action and a critic. This enabled him to tell of events in which he took part with the penetration of a keen observer, added to a personal knowledge of details which even the most intelligent looker-on must often be unable to ascertain. Too many of the books that we read about Russia have been written by foreigners who have mistaken a partial knowledge, gained by travel and an ac quaintance with people in this or that part of the Empire, for a real comprehension of its problems. It is true that the work of a gifted writer of another nationality may occasionally afford a clearer insight into the underlying causes of a series of events than that of a native of the country in which those events took place. Carlyle, for instance, drew a picture of the French Revolution such as no Frenchman could equal at the time, but Russia has not yet had her Carlyle, and meanwhile there is no doubt that the world has been poorly informed by newspaper cor respondents and other foreign writers who, in spite of conscientious effort and perhaps because of too great desire to be readable, have utterly failed to present TRANSLATORS PREFACE vii the truth. Russia is too vast and her people too vague, complex, and idealistic to be photographed by snapshots, as it were nothing short of a life experience, and the sympathy which comes of identity of blood and mentality, can enable one to portray Russia and the Russians with entire faithfulness. This, then, is why the contents of this book are soilluminating in spite of their fragmentary nature. M. Iswolsky was not only the most patriotic of Russians, knowing the nature of his countrymen in every class of society, from the aristocrat to the peasant, and fervently desirous of justice for all, but he had the advantage of a cosmopolitan training which enabled him to study the problems of other countries, to discover how those problems had been solved, and to apply the knowledge so acquired to the improvement of social conditions in Russia...



maart 2007
Aantal pagina's
324 pagina's
Met illustraties


Charles Louis Seeger
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Extra groot lettertype
414 g
Verpakking breedte
140 mm
Verpakking hoogte
18 mm
Verpakking lengte
216 mm

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