The Third Rome

The Reviews

In Matthew Raphael Johnson’s keen The Third Rome, I got Russian history for the first time. 

Until I cracked his book on Holy Russia, my knowledge of the Czars was cursory.  None of the campuses where I studied had a thing to say about them.  Pre-Bolshevik Russia was all hush-hush.  Post-Bolshevik USSR was hush-hush too.  They didn’t teach us about Marxism.  Not a peep.  They didn’t dare mention the Bolsheviks. 

A scholar of history might ask, “Why the hell not?”  Why was The Communist Manifesto not on our reading list?

Johnson introduces the Christian Czars one by one in scholarly biographies — emphasizing that we have been fed lies about them.  Ivan wasn’t so terrible and Peter wasn’t so great.  Catherine was too much of a team-player in western ways.  Her reign was as good as she was pretty.

Then came the Romanovs.  Among the finest men and monarchs of all time.  Ushering into Russia a golden age of prosperity, cultural genius and Christian solidarity.  

Long-maligned serfdom had its niche in Holy Russia.  Peasants owned most of the land.  They went to the same priests as their noble neighbors to lay bare their souls.  They were self-governing communes with every head of household having a voice goodly-heard.

Peasants had bargaining power with their respected yield.  They were the hearty voice of wheat, rye and barley in the field.  Peasant communes were the firm foundation of Russian economy.  And they were cherished by their Czar as mutually as they loved him.

A quote from Margaret Mitchell’s novel comes to mind, “A man is nothing without land, Katie-Scarlet.”  The Russian peasant was one with his land.  A strapping, vigorous and devoutly Christian people from whose multitude rose the Cossack Host.  Great defenders of the Crown.   “God, King and Country,” hip-hip to that.  God-fearing monarchy is the only form of government where everybody benefits. 

Johnson’s book refutes the lies written about Holy Russia by its Marxist enemies.  Ones that have wormed their way into academe and pass for “history.”  He writes that democracy is just a cover word for oligarchy.  Other such words are used as duck blinds for “the masses.”  Examples of which are:  proletariat, bourgeoisie and abattoir.  Who can spell them?  Note how Marxists use French to hide the meaning of poor wage-slave, middle class wage-slave and slaughterhouse, respectively. 

So Russia rose in military might and economic solvency.  She refused to “westernize” and open her door to international bankers.  Therein lies the rub.

I can list other nation states that have suffered similar fates.  Bloody revolutions every one.  And every one of them instigated by the same pack of rats that murdered the last Czar of Russia, his family and their little dog.

This book is a must-read for anyone who thinks they know some history.  The author is a Russian Orthodox priest whose work has appeared in the Barnes Review and several other books.