|Russia||Russian Revolution||Soviet Union 1920-45|
In 1904 he left Russia and lived in London, Paris and Geneva where he met and worked with George Plekhanov, Pavel Axelrod, Leon Trotsky, Vera Zasulich, Jules Martov, Vladimir Lenin, Anatoli Lunacharsky, and Victor Chernov.
He returned to Russia to participate in the 1905 Revolution. In 1906 he was arrested for revolutionary activity and sentenced to internal exile in Siberia.
Shub escaped in 1908 and made his way to the United States. He kept in close contact with the leaders of both the February Revolution and the October Revolution. In 1930 Shub published an article on Joseph Stalin in the New York Times. Over the next twenty years he wrote extensively about the Russian Revolution including his acclaimed biography of Vladimir Lenin that was published in 1948.
(1) David Shub, letter to New International (March-April 1950)
My attention has been called to Mr. Max Shachtman’s article on my book Lenin, A Biography in your December 1949 issue. I am sufficiently familiar with the tradition of Bolshevik polemics not to be surprised by the abusive and defamatory character of Mr. Shachtman’s review. I reply in your columns only because I believe I am entitled to keep the record clear on the facts upon which Mr. Shachtman rests his case....
Mr. Shachtman finds it impossible to believe that when Martov, the veteran Russian Socialist leader – addressing the German Independent Socialist Party Congress in Halle in 1920 – spoke of the wholesale terror which Gregory Zinoviev had conducted in Petrograd, there were outcries in the hall of “Hangman” and “Bandit” directed at Zinoviev. Because these words do not appear in the published minutes, he claims they are a forgery. Mr. Shachtman goes on to charge that I invented the speech by Rudolf Hilferding, leader of the German Independent Socialists, which is quoted in the book. “It does not exist!” Mr. Shachtman proclaims in italics. Had Mr. Shachtman pursued his research beyond the minutes to the Berlin Freiheit, official organ of the Independent Socialist Party (editor-in-chief, Rudolf Hilferding), he would have found the epithets “hangman” and “bandit” hurled at Zinoviev, as well as the Hilferding speech – including Hilferding’s words, quoted in my book, which remain a classic Socialist indictment of Bolshevism. " Between us and the Bolsheviks there is not only a wide theoretical difference, but an impassable moral gulf. We realize that they are people with quite a different morality and ethics."