Image from page 74 of "Through the Russian Revolution" (1921)
Authors: Williams, Albert Rhys, 1883-1962
Publisher: New York, Boni and Liveright
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en disconcert-ing. He challenges our long-held convictions. Herevises our estimate of western civilization. It isnot at all obvious to him that it is worth the pricewe pay for it. He is not mesmerized by machinery,efficiency, production. He asks, What is it for?Does it make men happier? Does it make themmore friendly? His conclusions are not always profound. Some-times they are only naive and curious. When themir assembled on Monday morning the village Elder(starosta) politely extended to me the greetings ofthe village. He said apologetically that the childrenhad brought home a report about my golden teeth,but that it did not seem reasonable, and they didntknow whether to believe it or not. There wasnothing to do but demonstrate. I opened my mouthwhile the Elder peered long and intently into it andthen gravely confirmed the report. Thereupon theseventy bearded patriarchs formed in line while Istood with mouth agape. Each gazed his fill andthen moved along to give place to the next man
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The paradoxes of Russia—the peasants, shrewd and superstitious, cruel and kind, communistic and individuahstic, baffling to Tolstoy, irritating to Gorky. What will they make of the new Russia?
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