Books: If Marx Had Bathed

TODA RABA by Nikos Kazantzakis. 220 pages. Simon & Schuster. $4.50.

Most of the early apologists for the Russian Revolution scribbled down their dreams and enthusiasms and glossed over the cruelties they saw with their own eyes. One who did not was the great Greek novelist Nikos Kazantzakis, who toured Soviet Russia in the 1920s and put down his impressions in novelistic form. Translated for the first time into English, Toda Raba shows that Kazantzakis overlooked nothing: the ruthless exploitation, the sterile wrangling over doctrine, the starvation, the basement executions.

Kazantzakis had convinced himself...

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