Helen Rappaport : Conspirator UK Edition Reviews


UK Reviews

In Helen Rappaport’s vivid account of this often neglected period, we finally have a worthy counterpart to Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Young Stalin.

New Statesman

A fine book that represents [Lenin] afresh by concentrating on his life before achieving power. The result is a dramatic and atmospheric tale.

Times Literary Supplement

A fascinating look at Lenin during the murky 17 years he spent exiled in Europe before the Revolution … all explored with gusto.


Rappaport [is] good at compiling material from diverse sources as she chronicles Lenin’s exile in London, Paris, Munich, Switzerland, Finland and Poland. Her Lenin is neither the long-suffering saint of Soviet myth nor the robot revolutionary painted by his enemies.




Conspirator draws a lively portrait of a driven man dedicated to his practical and theoretical work.  … A fine writer, Rappaport has a cinematic touch when she takes us along Lenin’s daring escape across the ice in Finland.

History Today

Helen Rappaport presents an exhaustive...account of this period when the great Bolshevik (at times, almost the only Bolshevik) and his wife Nadya hopped from one European city to another, dodging secret policemen, living from hand to mouth and tirelessly writing, debating, organising, plotting, plotting, plotting . . .


Rappaport’s revealing account of Lenin’s 17 years in exile … opens up a new window onto an iconic figure… it strips away the dry and hackneyed details of Lenin’s official life during these years and reveals the real man. … She gets as near to the heart of this enigmatic man as is humanly possible as well as providing a memorable portrait of a revolutionary leader in the making … Lenin as you’ve never seen him before.

Lancashire Evening Post

Magnificent … Rappaport’s account of Lenin’s earlier, often neglected decades is well researched, fluently written and something of a triumph.

The Tablet

Impressively researched. … Conspirator evokes Lenin and the atmosphere in which he moved in striking detail, often with a rather dramatic flourish.

Irish Times


Lenin, Paris 1910 Lenin's prison cell, Nowy Targ Lenin's wife Nadia Krupskaya

A spirited history of Lenin's life in exile, which provides an unfamiliar view of the             

revolutionary as a fugitive...Diligently researched, [it] moreover conjures a vivid picture

of Russian émigré life in the early 1900s and the political landscape of Europe on the

eve of revolution.