Reviewed by: Mihaela Herbel
De pe celălalt ţărm. Social democraţia după 1921(original title:From the other shore. Russian Social-Democracy after 1921,Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997)is above all, a collective biography, the story of the Mensheviks, a faction which, between 1903 and 1917 split from the Social-Democrat Party of the Russian Workers – changed into the Russian Communist Party after the 1917 coup. It is the story of the Menshevik Party’s 40-year lifetime and of its wanderings in three countries from two continents during the most troublesome years of the 20th century. By all means, the Mensheviks are not singular in the field of political exile but they are most emblematic in remaining essentially an exiled political group. They never seized power in Russia and turned overnight into a dissident group inside their own party. Eventually,banished from the country in 1921, the Russian Mensheviks reached political maturity after emigration. It was also as emigrants that they were forced to define their role in compliance with the status of exiled political group sentenced to remain outside Russia’s borders: the role of political observers of domestic politics. History recorded the Mensheviks for this very position of observers and experts in the problems of the Soviet Russian politics.