My first thought when describing this wonderful book was that it surprised me. ...Catherine Baird succeeded to surprise me with some interesting facts that I was not aware of, specifically the YMCA’s role in the Russian revolution and the fate of the Russian philosophers on the “Philosophers’ Ship”.... Another thought that came to me after reading this book, is that perhaps a person who was not directly involved in Russian (Soviet) life, is exactly the person to provide a fresh look from a new side that may expose things that were not seen by people from the former Soviet Union.
Freedom, Creativity and Compassion sit at the heart of this book as the author ties the events from over a century ago back to parallels occurring today.

This is a story of how 160 completely unique activists, philosophers, and politicians kept alive the key tenets of a natively Russian worldview and, with the help of a most unlikely sponsor - the American YMCA - preserved their culture and beliefs for more than three generations until finally they could at last find acceptance once more.