B O O K 1
The author was born in 1900 in Ukraine in a poor family. His father was a tailor, Grigory was the sixth child of 8. His parents were critical of tzarist regime, especially his mother Rachel. From the age of eleven Grigory had to work. At 16 he was working in Bryansk plant in Ekaterinoslav. Working by day and studying by night, he prepared during one year for examinations for the full course of secondary school (gymnasium) and passed the exams successfully. His friends Abraham Shlionsky (later a well-known poet in Israel) and Matus Kanin instructed him and helped a lot n his studies. Grigory became a witness and participant of stormy events before February revolution in 1917. In 1919 he was called to military service in the Red Army and there he was enlisted to Bolshevic Party. Being sent with a secret mission to Sevastopol he was captured by officers of general Shkouro of White Army and endured severe tortures, but never made a confession. Grigory was imprisoned in Ekaterinoslav jail. Soon all the prisoners were set free by the army of Nestor Mahno. Grigory went to anarchists’ meeting and listened to speeches of Mahno and Volin, one of anarchists ideologists. The speech of Volin impressed him greatly. Many pages of the book are dedicated to anarchist movement of Machno.
In 1921 Grigory entered Moscow University, where he studied philosophy. Professor Lubov Akselrod recommended him to the Institute of Red Professorship. In 1925 he became professor of philosiphy. He wrote several original works: “The Freedom and Necessity in Spinoza Philosophic System”, “Kantian Theory of the Sky” and others. His work on Spinoza became his dissertation.
In 1922 Grigory met Dina Belotzerkovsky, who became his wife. During the Civil War Dina had been comissar of a front hospital, she had joined the Bolshevic Party earlier, than Grigory.
In 1923 Grigorov was sent to an administrative exile to Ivanovo-Voznesensk, because his independent position and open criticizm of the governing circles did not agree with the Bolshevic ideology. There he visited factories and saw hard conditions of workers, that lived half-starving life and lost their rights, which they had had before 1917. On the other side there grew new “nomenclature”, that rose from social bottom. The next exile was to Siberia.
In 1925 G. Grigorov and his wife were sent to work in Leningrad. He was offered to organize workers’ faculties “rabfacs” in Leningrad, the institutions, that were helping workers to get prepared for universities. His wife began to work as the chief of rabfac of Polytechnical Institute. His next administration exile was to Ural in 1927, where he worked in pedagogical college. In Kungur he was expelled from the Bolshevic Party. After exile he twice met wth L.D. Trotzky in Moscow in Glavconsesscom and in Beloborodov’s (former chairman of Ural Soviet) apartment. After these two meetings Grigorov understood that Trotzky “who earlier had power, now submitted to power himself”. Grigory understood that Trotzky’s personal tragedy would become the tragedy of the whole nation.