Skip to content Skip to navigation
Skip to global navigation Menu

April 17–18, 1924

Sir Bernard Pares, professor of Russian language and literature at the recently established School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London, lectured in the Assembly Hall on “The Liberal Movement in Russia” and “Requirements of Russian Reconstruction.” “There are two currents which may be traced,” Sir Bernard said, according to The Miscellany News, “in the reform movement in Russia, namely the Individualistic and the Socialistic, though throughout, is was a Liberal movement.”

“At present,” The Misc. summarized about the conclusion of Sir Bernard’s second lecture, “in Russia there are Communists but no communism. The Bolsheviks, contrary to their purposes, ended in ruralizing an decentralizing Russia and strengthening religion. But in time, thinks Sir Bernard, the results of all these movements will be found in a federated union and a United States of Russia.”

A close associate of liberal Russian reformers, Pares was on the staff of the British Embassy in Petrograd at the time of the 1917 revolution. Made a Knight of the British Empire (KBE) in 1919 for his service in Russia, he was banned from Russia by the communist government until 1935.

Pares’s History of Russia (1919) and its several subsequent versions were key documents in the understanding of Russian history, politics and culture in the first half of the 20th century.

The Years