Books: Class War & Peace

THE RED AND THE WHITE (463 pp.)—Henri Troyat—Crowell ($4.50).

Moscow's literary mills keep grinding out books, but it is likely that the best Russian novel of the year is one written (in French) by a Russian who can barely remember his own country. The refugee is not a good witness of the land he loved and lost; an exception is Henri Troyat. Although he has lived in France since he was nine, he has woven—out of legend, memory, research and love—a valedictory tale of Russia's "former people," whose liquidation began in November 1917. The title evokes Stendhal's The Red and the Black,...

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