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Lockhart British Agent (Real Life James Bond Meets the Bolshevik Revolution) (1933)

Lockhart British Agent (Real Life James Bond Meets the Bolshevik Revolution) (1933)

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Published by Zuraida Omar

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Published by: Zuraida Omar on Jul 27, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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R.H. Bruce Lockhart. British Agent. Introduction. Table of Contents.
BRITISH AGENTby R. H. Bruce Lockhart
I HAVE been expecting this book for a long time, and with very eager curiosity. So prejudiced did Ifeel, not of necessity in its favour but at least in its importance, that I waited, without a word, for theopinions of other critics, who had not, as I had, been in Russia with Lockhart. They could not beconscious, as I was, of his strangely contradictory and---to myself---singularly attractive personality. Icould be no fair judge of this book.Myself, at my first reading of it, I was so aware of the sound of Lockhart's voice---an odd voice,assertive and modest, arrogant and humorously depreciatory all at the same time---that I could not judgeit at all as literature. It seemed to me scarcely to be written, to be too journalistic, and to be of a quitethrilling interest. But all this was personal prejudice.Then I discovered that the book had a remarkable effect on those who knew nothing of Lockhart andcared less. It had two great qualities, they said---honesty and vivid actuality. And it had a third---thedirect revelation of the personality of a most unusual character. These things I believe to be strictly true.And, in addition, the book deals, in the main, with one of the really terrific crises in the world's history.Or, rather, with a series of them. Again and again, as one reads Lockhart's book, one feels that had achair been moved, a voice coughed, a man looked in a mirror the whole future of the world would havechanged its shape. But perhaps not. I myself find it very difficult to look back now on the sequence of events after August 4th, 1914, and not believe in an undercurrent of destiny---and the end is certainly not
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R.H. Bruce Lockhart. British Agent. Introduction. Table of Contents.
yet. The second half of Lockhart's book is surely one of the most thrilling things in all the war records.You feel that he exaggerates nothing, sentimentalizes over nothing, is not shocked, nor disgusted, norfrightened, nor exultant. A singularly passive young man, for it is as a very young man indeed that I stillthink of him, because, when I first knew him as Vice-Consul of Moscow, he looked like a first-termundergraduate who might get his place in the Freshman's trials at Rugby football.His swift, unexcited pen-pictures of all the figures that crowded that odd stage are surely veryremarkable. Peters, for instance, by now a quite legendary figure, or Lenin advancing to the front of aplatform at a revolutionary meeting, the Englishmen, Buchanan, Cromie, Knox, Hicks, and the others.And his own personal courage and common sense is everywhere present, reminding me here of thehumorous insouciance of Yeats-Brown in
 Bengal Lancer 
Golden Horn.
But the great and final quality of this record is its honesty. Here, in this book, there are many of the mosthotly-debated events in history. I suppose that there is no European alive today who, in an officialposition, was able at first hand to watch so long a sequence of the Russian crises as Lockhart. And it isfortunate for us that he is, by nature, so honest a man. You can test it, if you like, by his extreme honestyabout himself. He conceals nothing; he is not concerned to conceal anything. He is really burning with apassion for the truth, and he sinks all personal prejudice in his love for it. When you consider, forinstance, the things that he must have suffered under the hands of the Bolshevik, Peters---notice howPeters showed him the horror of the Russian priest going out to be shot---the fairness of his portrait of that man is quite extraordinary. Especially I would like to draw the attention of readers to his words onpage 188 about our Ambassador, Sir George Buchanan, "that splendid old man," as he calls him. And hewas a splendid old man, afterwards traduced, now at last beginning to be vindicated.This is a fine graphic contribution to history---one of the most honest and vivid that we have had..
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
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