Enthusiasm took Serge to revolutionary Soviet Russia, and it was there that he began to notice that Bolshevik tyranny, rather than general incompetence, was going to be the problem (like Orwell, he despaired of the attraction of radical politics to people who refused to eat meat, or salt, or anything but fruit). Memoirs is a document that is essential, above all, as a denouncement of oppression, an eye-witness account, written in heat and at speed, but with the talent of the true writer, of what it was like to be at the heart of the machine – and to stand up to it.
—from Nicholas Lezard’s review of Memoirs of a Revolutionary in The Guardian. He ends the review by asking, “How it has taken so long to appear is one of those unfathomable mysteries. (Is it because some people can’t comprehend a humane revolutionary?) Anyway, here it is at last, and anyone who cares about justice and freedom of speech should have a copy.” We like that.