|About the Book|
Bernard Pares was born in in England in 1867. Educated at Harrow and Cambridge University where he developed a strong interest in Russian history and in 1898 he made his first visit to the country.In 1902 Pares found employment as an adult education lecturer at the recently established Liverpool University. Five years later he founded the first School of Russian Studies at a British university. During this period Pares was a regular visitor to Russia and met leading figures in the Duma and the Russian government.Pares thought that the authorities mishandled the protests led by Father Georgi Gapon. Gapons organization was based on a representation of one person for every thousand workers. He planned a peaceful demonstration in the form of a march to the Winter Palace, carrying church banners and singing religious and national songs. Owing to the idiocy of the military authorities, the crowd was met with rifle fire both at the outskirts of the city and the palace square. The actual victims, as certified by a public commission of lawyers of the Opposition, was approximately 150 killed and 200 wounded- and as all who had taken a leading part in the procession were then expelled from the capital, the news was circulated all over the Empire.He became close to Alexander Guchkov: He had the easy organizing ability of a first-rate English politician- he was quietly proud of his democratic origin, and all his actions were inspired by an ardent love for Russia and the Russian people, in whose native conservatism, common sense and loyalty he fully shared... Guchkovs chief quality was a daring gallantry- he was at ease with himself and enjoyed stepping forward under fire with a perfect calm whenever there was anything which he wished to challenge- his defect was his restlessness- without actually asking for it, he was instinctively always in the limelight, always trying to do too much.Pares was highly critical of Tsar Nicholas II in his treatment of Jews: At this time the favourite object of persecution was the Jewry of Russia, which was in 1914 nearly one half of the whole Jewish population of the world. And here Nicholas was as bad as Alexander. It was not just a question of what rights the Jews did not possess, but whether they had the right to exist at all. But for special exemptions, the Jewish population was confined to the so-called Jewish Pale of Settlement, where they lived under Polish rule before the partitions of Poland.On the outbreak of the First World War Pares was appointed British Military Observer to the Russian Army. He thought the Tsar made a serious mistake by appointing Boris Sturmer as prime minister: Sturmer was a shallow and dishonest creature, without even the merit of courage. Sturmer was prepared to pose as a semi-liberal and to try in this way to keep the Duma quiet. Rasputin backed Sturmer, and also the Empress, and he was suddenly appointed Prime Minister on February 2nd and to the surprise of everyone, and most of all Goremykin, who, as was usual with the Emperor, had never been given the idea that he was even in danger.Pares remained on the Eastern Front for the next three years but left the country after the October Revolution. Pares was sent back to Russia in January 1919 as an officer in the British Army. He gave lectures in Siberia then held by Alexander Kolchak. After the defeat of the White Army Pares returned to Britain where he was appointed of Russian history at London University.In 1922 Pares founded and edited The Slavonic Review and wrote several books including Day by Day with the Russian Army (1915), A History of Russia (1926), Fall of the Russian Monarchy (1939) and Russia and the Peace (1944).Bernard Pares died on 17th April 1949.