The Transnational Life and Death of Peter Kropotkin, 1881-1921: Terrorism, the Anarchist Body, and the Russian Revolution

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 30 Number 1 (2022)

The Transnational Life and Death of Peter Kropotkin, 1881-1921: Terrorism, the Anarchist Body, and the Russian Revolution
Lara Green, pages 83-119
DOI: 10.3898/AS.30.1.04

Abstract

Peter Kropotkin’s life was not only transnational because of his movements. Kropotkin existed as an imagined figure in the sphere of transatlantic Anglophone print culture. This imagined Kropotkin was both representative of and contributed to British and American responses to the Russian Revolution in the period between 1881, when Kropotkin first became internationally infamous, and his death in 1921. This article argues that we can read in media representations of Kropotkin three main phases of revolutionary history. The first, the terrorist phase. The second, the ancient dignity of Russian culture. The third, decay, death, and despair. Kropotkin was one of the Revolution’s greatest celebrities, meaning that when the Civil War emerged and Bolshevik power grew, it was through memories and representations of him that British and American audiences interpreted the Russian Revolution. So far as they saw it, Kropotkin was the Revolution, and had been for some time. As a result, Kropotkin’s death marked an important moment both for Russian anarchists, but also a symbol of the passing of an age of Russian history and culture.

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To cite this article
Lara Green (2022) The Transnational Life and Death of Peter Kropotkin, 1881-1921: Terrorism, the Anarchist Body, and the Russian Revolution , Anarchist Studies, 30(1), 83-119. https://doi.org/10.3898/AS.30.1.04

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