Frases de Orlando Figes

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Orlando Figes

Data de nascimento: 20. Novembro 1959

Orlando Figes é um historiador inglês, professor de História no Birkbeck College, na Universidade de Londres. É um dos maiores especialistas actuais em história da Rússia desde o século XVIII. Estudou história na Universidade de Cambridge onde foi, mais tarde, professor de história e membro do Trinity College.

„Os últimos dois Czares eram abertamente anti-semitas — ambos associavam os Judeus com a ameaça da cidade moderna, o capitalismo e o socialismo — e em círculos oficiais era moda repetir os seus preconceitos racistas. Em especial Nicolau II tendia mais e mais a ver os pogromas durante o seu regime como um acto de patriotismo e lealdade do 'bom e simples povo russo“

„The link between literacy and revolutions is a well-known historical phenomenon. The three great revolutions of modern European history -- the English, the French and the Russian -- all took place in societies where the rate of literacy was approaching 50 per cent. Literacy had a profound effect on the peasant mind and community. It promotes abstract thought and enables the peasant to master new skills and technologies, Which in turn helps him to accept the concept of progress that fuels change in the modern world.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„Sveta had much less to say, but she sat with Lev and held his hand, and when I asked her what had made her fall in love with him, she replied, ‘I knew he was my future. When he was not there, I would look for him, and he would always appear by my side. That is love.’

Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag

„For all too many of these high-born revolutionaries, the main attraction of 'the cause' lay not so much in the satisfaction which they might derive from seeing the people's daily lives improved, as in their own romantic search for sense of 'wholeness' which might give higher meaning to their lives and to end alienation from the world.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„Convinced that their own ideas were the key to the future of the world, that the fate of humanity rested on the outcome of their own doctrinal struggles, the Russian intelligentsia divided up the world into the forces of 'progress' and 'reaction', friends and enemies of the people's cause, leaving no room for doubters in between. Here were the origins of the totalitarian world-view. Although neither would have liked to admit it, there was much in common between Lenin and Tolstoy.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„I understood that the most terrible thing in life is complete hopelessness... To cross out all the 'maybes' and give up the fight when you still have strength for it is the most terrible form of suicide. It's almost unbearable to watch it happening in others. Unjustified hope - salvation for the weak in spirit and intellect - irritates me. But the loss of hope is the paralysis, even the death, of the soul. Sveta, let us hope, while we still have strength to hope.“ Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag

„On the news that the Tsar had sent the troops icons to boost their morals, General Dragomirov quipped: 'The Japanese are beating us with machine-guns, but never mind: we'll beat them with icons.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„For the Romanov regime fell under the weight of its own internal contradictions. It was not overthrown.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„... from the perspective of the individual, it could be said that the single greatest difference between Russia and the West, both under Tsarism and Communism, was that in Western Europe citizens were generally free to do as they pleased so long as their activities had not been specifically prohibited by the state, while the people of Russia were not free to do anything unless the state had given them specific permission to do it. No subject of the Tsar, regardless of his rank or class, could sleep securely in his bed in the knowledge that his house would not be subject to a search, or he himself to arrest.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„With the Russian Empire teetering on the brink of collapse, the tsarist regime responded to the crises with its usual incompetence and obstinacy. The basic problem was that Nicholas himself remained totally oblivious to the extremity of the situation. While the country sank deeper into chaos he continued to fill his diary with terse and trivial notes on the weather, the company at tea and the number of birds he had shot that day. When Bulygin suggested that political concessions might be needed to calm the country, Nicholas was taken aback and told the Minister: 'One would think you are afraid a revolution will break out.' 'Your majesty,' came the reply, 'the revolution has already begun.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„Whereas in Europe new ideas were forced to compete against other doctrines and attitudes, with the results that people tended towards healthy skepticism about claims to absolute truth, and a climate of pluralism developed, In Russia there was a cultural void. The censor forbade all political expression, so that when ideas were introduced there they easily assumed the status of holy dogma, a panacea for all the world's ills, beyond questioning or indeed the need to test them in real life.“

„These romantic visions of the peasantry were constantly undone by contact with reality, often with devastating consequences for their bearers. The populists, who invested much of themselves in their conception of the peasants, suffered the most in this respect, since the disintegration of that conception threatened to undermine not only their radical beliefs but also their own self-identity.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„The worst violence was reserved for the Jews. There were 690 documented pogroms -- with over 3,000 reported murders -- during the two weeks following the deceleration of the October Manifesto. The Rightist groups played a leading role in these programs, either by inciting the crowed against the Jews or by planning them from the start.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„In the mind of the ordinary peasant the Tsar was not just a kingly ruler but a god on earth. He thought of him as a father-figure who knew all the peasants personally by name, understood their problems in all their minute details, and, if it were not for the evil boyars who surrounded him, would satisfy their demands. Hence the peasant tradition of sending direct appeals to the Tsar.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„This was a cruelty made by history. Long after serfdom had been abolished the land captains exercised their right to flog the peasants for petty crimes. Liberals rightly warned about the psychological effects of this brutality. One physician, addressing the Kazan Medical Society in 1895 said that it 'not only debases but even hardens and brutalizes human nature'. Chekhov, who was also a practising physician, denounced corporal punishment, adding that 'it coarsens and brutalizes not only the offenders but also those who execute the punishments and those who are present at it'.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

„Their notion of training was to march the men up and down in parades and reviews: these were nice to look at and gave them the impression of military discipline and precision, but as a preparation for a modern war they had no value whatsoever.“ A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924

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