Stepniak [Sergei Kravchinski]. 
New York: Harper & Brothers Printers & Publishers, 1889. 
Octavo, 320 pages + ads. First edition of this important novel of nihilism and anarchism by an early anti-Tsarist revolutionary. 'Stepniak' was the nom de guerre of Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinski (1852-1895). In his encyclopedic work 'The Anarchists', James Joll describes Stepniak: "He was an artillery officer in the Czar's army, when he developed as a political activist. Becoming obnoxious to the government, as a vocal apostle of freedom, he was arrested and subsequently kept under severe surveillance. He left Russia and settled in Geneva (1876), and later moved to London (1885). In absentia, he was accused of murdering General Mesentzieff, the director of the St. Petersburg police (1878) [while Joll plays this action down, Stepniak is widely considered to have killed with a dagger the head of the Tsar's secret police in the streets of St. Petersburgh]. 
"His writings include important and influential political works, especially, 'Underground Russia' and 'Russia Under the Czars'. Russian 'Nihilism' was a philosophical, political, and social movement akin to that of the 'Anarchists'. It developed into a secret organization designed to overthrow all aspects of the established political and social order. This novel was more avidly read in the west than most of the many tracts, pamphlets, and monographs issued by the diverse advocates of change and revolution in Russia."  
Some light patterned offsetting to endpapers from adhesive, otherwise a fine copy, internally bright, in  a fine publisher's decorated cloth binding depicting a smoking bomb, printed in black and gray on pale blue cloth.  
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The Career of a Nihilist. A Novel.