The month of November 1916 in Russia was outwardly unmarked by seismic events, but beneath the surface, society, from the Tsar's bizarre & troubled court to the peasants, workers, & ill-led soldiers in the trenches, seethed fiercely. As no other could, the author makes us experience the whole bubbling cauldron. In Petrograd, luxury store windows are still brightly lit; the Duma debates stormily about the monarchy, the course of war, & clashing paths to reform; the workers in the huge & miserable munitions factories veer increasingly toward sedition. At the front, all is stalemate except for sudden death's capricious visits, while in the countryside sullen anxiety among hard-pressed farmers is rapidly replacing patriotism. In Zurich, Lenin, with the smallest of all revolutionary groups, plots his sinister logistical miracle. With masterly & moving empathy, through the eyes of both historical & fictional protagonists, the author unforgettably transports us to that time & place-the last of pre-Soviet Russia. In terms of the effect he has had on history, this author is the dominant writer of the twentieth century.