Excerpt from Revolution from Within

RFW_Cover_AmazonRevolution from Within: The YMCA in Russia’s Ascension to Freedom from Bolshevik Tyranny by Catherine Baird, Ph.D.

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In 1922, during the Bolsheviks’ fateful reign of terror, 160 intellectuals were rounded-up, forcibly loaded onto steamships, and exiled from Russia.

“The 160,” as these intellectuals became known, were the last vestige of Russia’s great classical culture. They were political theorists and spiritual philosophers. These were the guardians of knowledge about the Russian soul, personal enlightenment (Godmanhood), federalism, and free, local communities (Sobornost’) as alternatives to materialism and state-dominated totalitarianism. Cast out, they were the Russian equivalents of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the other American founders… expelled instead of victoriously enshrined as enlightened revolutionary leaders of a newly-minted government.

Repressed, then banished from their native land, The 160 persisted in their quest to change Russia from within and remind their countrymen, from all classes and occupations, about their history and heritage. This courageous group served as the first resistance to Bolshevik tyranny.

Their writings were kept in print thanks to the efforts of the YMCA, which created a publishing arm in Europe and provided critical humanitarian aid to Russian émigrés. Revolution from Within is a story of hope, tragedy, irony, and surprising twists that change our understanding of the Russian Revolution and the Cold War.

The YMCA stands at the center of this dramatic narrative: an unexpected sponsor conducting an unusual mission to save afflicted human beings from death, starvation, and despair brought on by an ideology bent on destroying their faith and individuality.


“A compelling … untold story—of the Russian Revolution … and the role that courageous YMCA officials played in saving their priceless writings. I hated to close the book at the end.”

– Margaret J. Shaw

“Wonderfully researched, well written it is a narrative that is a must read for history buffs of the Russian Revolution time period.” – J.J. Green

“Splendid work of stitching together a story from labyrinth of various facts and events that are of magnificent complexity!” – Rahul

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