The Lockhart Plot: Love, Betrayal, Assassination and Counter-Revolution in Lenin's Russia

ISBN : 9780198852988

Jonathan Schneer
384 Pages
135 x 216 mm
Pub date
Jun 2020
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During the spring and summer of 1918, with World War I still undecided, British, French and American agents in Russia developed a breathtakingly audacious plan.
Led by Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart, a dashing, cynical, urbane 30-year-old Scot, they conspired to overthrow Lenin's newly established Bolshevik regime, and to install one that would continue the war against Germany on the Eastern Front. Lockhart's confidante and chief support, with whom he engaged in a passionate love affair, was the mysterious, alluring Moura von Benkendorff, wife of a former aide-de-camp to the Tsar.

The plotters' chief opponent was 'Iron Felix' Dzerzhinsky. He led the Cheka, 'Sword and Shield' of the Russian Revolution and forerunner of the KGB. Dzerzhinsky loved humanity - in the abstract.
He believed socialism represented humanity's best hope.
To preserve and protect it he would unleash unbounded terror.
Revolutionary Russia provided the setting for the ensuing contest.
In the back streets of Petrograd and Moscow, in rough gypsy cabarets, in glittering nightclubs, in cells beneath the Cheka's Lubianka prison, the protagonists engaged in a deadly game of wits for the highest possible stakes - not merely life and death, but the outcome of a world war and the nature of Russia's post-war regime.

Confident of success, the conspirators set the date for an uprising, September 8, 1918, but the Cheka had penetrated their organization and pounced just beforehand. The Lockhart Plot was a turning point in world history, except it failed to turn. At a time when Russian meddling in British and American politics now sounds warning bells, however, we may sense its reverberations and realize that it is still relevant.


I: Lockhart before the Fall
1 The Making of Bruce Lockhart
2 The Education of Bruce Lockhart
3 The Temptations of Bruce Lockhart
II: Defenders of the Faith
4 Iron Felix Dzerzhinsky
5 Tender Jacov Peters
6 The Cheka
III: Towards the Fall
7 The 'Ace of Spies'
8 First Steps Towards the Counter-Revolution
9 The Question of Moura
10 Why Lockhart turned to the Latvians 10
11 Dzerzhinsky Counters
12 Intrigue and Romance in Revolutionary Russia
13 The Lockhart Plot Takes Shape
IV: The Fall
14 The Lockhart Plot
15 The Defeat of the Lockhart Plot
16 Denouement
17 Epilogue
18 Conclusion

About the author: 

Jonathan Schneer was born in New York City.
He earned his doctorate from Columbia University and has taught at Yale University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The recipient of numerous academic fellowships and awards, he has written seven previous books, one of which, The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of Arab-Israeli Conflict, (2010), won a National Jewish Book Award. His books and articles have been translated into German, French, Turkish and Chinese. Now an emeritus professor, he divides his time between Atlanta, Georgia and Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.

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