No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.
Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (1931)
Before he became a famed author of children’s books in the 1930s, Arthur Ransome spent five years in Russia as a British correspondent for the Guardian newspaper. During those years, he witnessed the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the Bolshevik Revolution, all with unprecedented access to the revolution’s perpetrators, including Lenin, Trotsky and Karl Radek whose secretary Ransome eventually married. It was a brutal, bloody and formative period in modern history led primarily by Vladimir Lenin whose powerful influence, Ransome believed, would come