To Alexander Kerensky [Letter 45]

Item Reference Code: 100_13A_027_001

Date(s) of creation



Alexander Kerensky


Alexander Kerensky was the premier of Russia before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. This undated letter has been translated from the handwritten Russian. Prior to 1917, Kerensky was greatly admired by AR, as she later recalled: “I was twelve, and my great enthusiasm at the time was Kerensky, about whom I knew nothing except that he was the hero of the revolution, you see, and he was sold as a very heroic figure. So I had a whole collection of photographs of him which were sold everywhere… And why I would have been all for the Kerensky Revolution was precisely because it seemed to be the freedom of the individual, at that time.” But by the time she met him in 1945, she “had no illusions about him, and he was worse than I would have expected…a real mediocrity.”

Translation by Alex Sadovsky; final parenthetical line translated by Dina (Schein) Federman.

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Dear Aleksandr Fyodorovich,

If you remember me being among the crowd in the “Town Hall” this morning, I am taking advantage of the permission you gave me to send you my book [We the Living] which I had mentioned to you.

Of all the great Russian people in the world, your opinion is the most valuable to me, and I have waited for an opportunity to send you this book for a long time: since I started writing it. It was printed here, in America, two years ago; last year, in England; and is now being prepared for print in several European countries.

I lived in Russia for many years under the Soviet regime, and I think that a depiction of daily Soviet life will probably be of interest to you. If you do not consider it stupidity on my part, I would like to ask you to let me know your opinion

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when you finish reading the book. I would be very grateful if you wrote me a few words about it when you find a convenient time. I am asking this for myself personally, and, if you like the book, I promise not to abuse your name and opinion for the purpose of literary advertising.

Please pardon my Soviet orthography. I was brought up in a Soviet university, and now do not know how to write otherwise. I am not at all confident in my Russian style, because in the recent years I have written, thought, and worked in English, and I hope you forgive me.

With deep respect,

Ayn Rand

(This is neither a Russian nor my real name)


There is no response from Kerensky in the Ayn Rand Archives.