The Great Offensive. Maurice Hindus.
The Great Offensive
The Great Offensive
The Great Offensive
The Great Offensive
The Great Offensive
The Great Offensive

The Great Offensive

New York, NY: Harrison Smith & Robert Haas, 1933. First Edition. Hardcover. "And supposing there is a famine in Russia," begins the chilling first sentence to Maurice Hindus' book, "The Great Offensive," first published in the ominous, chaos-laden year of 1933. "What will happen?" / "People will die, of course," I answered. / "And supposing three or four million people die." / "The Revolution will go on." / "And Stalin." / "He may remain, he may go, but the Revolution will go on." With the benefit of hindsight, an exchange like that seems patently malicious, psychotic...an unforgivably permissive attitude towards the Holodomor happening right at that very moment (the genocidal, controlled famine of 1932-33--overseen by Joseph Stalin--in which roughly 3.6 million Ukrainians perished). Yet, the man who utters that first sentence -- described by the author as "an American businessman of national renown and known for his liberalism," -- could plausibly have been convinced by the recipient of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, Walter Duranty of the New York Times, that the Holodomor was...shall we say, "Fake News." His purported stature, however, would very likely have given him access to information out of public reach, and implies knowledge (among the powerful) of the genocide then unfolding. Hindus' prognosis was predictably dire. "Unless a war comes and imposes a foreign rule on Russia, the Revolution will march on. / ... / What I mean is that the efforts of the Communist Party and of the Soviets to recast human society and to reconstruct the human personality have gone so far that they cannot be stopped." The prose continues, and the horrors accelerate: "There is mounting severity toward elements in the population which, rightly or wrongly, have been regarded as inimical to the Revolution and obstructing its path." Those elements, to be clear, were the Ukrainians mentioned above. Part One of the work is titled: "For a New Economic Order," with seven subheadings; Part Two, "For A New Human Personality," contains eleven subheadings ("Religion," "Morality," "Prostitution," "Jails" and "Art" among them). The work ends in a flourish of humor so dark that you'd think Heath Ledger's "Joker" was behind it: the third and final section is quite literally titled "For New Adventures." "New Adventures," -- like those in Mao's China, Hungary, Vietnam and Cambodia, right? The "Great Offensive" Hindus writes of in the present work is what he understood to be the Soviet pursuit of "...a new world along two vast all-embracing fronts--that of economics with the aim of creating a new economic order, and that of sociology with the aim of creating a new human personality." At this stage in his Marxist odyssey, Hindus considered Russia to be "...a strange mixture of dark shadows and bright lights, of brutal methods and exalted aims, of constant hardship and assiduous enterprise," and--as the quote suggests--had yet to arrive at a legitimate denunciation of the regime, let alone the that enabled it. To those familiar with the role, rise and fall of the Soviet Union, the political arc of Maurice Hindus (1891-1969) --especially when viewed dispassionately -- makes perfectly logical sense. A relic of time and place, of enduring relevance despite antiquation by the inescapable blindness of its era. Hardcover in unclipped first-issue dust-jacket: a true First Edition, with no reference to other editions at copyright page or elsewhere. Book in near fine condition with comparatively minor shelf-wear to fine-edges & corners; age-typical toning, spotting & yellowing to text block; faint evidence/remnants of binder’s glue (or perhaps old tape residue from some unverifiable, earlier attempt at dust-jacket restoration) along spine-edge of front cover; when evaluated beside the comparable specimens, the book itself has weathered the decades well. Dust-jacket in Fair condition with age-typical toning, yellowing & spotting to front, back covers & spine; synonymous exhibits of wear to fine-edges & corners of same; pronounced-to-significant chipping, closed tears, & accompanying wear throughout. Near Fine / Fair. [Item #4936]

Price: $30.00

See all items by