In yesterday’s post, “Charlton’s Mormon Advantage,” I mentioned an old National Geographic article about Russia from A.D. 1914, “Young Russia: The Land of Unlimited Possibilities.” I am thrilled to see that National Geographic has put its archives online, and I admire the mode of exposition that retains the structure and feel of a magazine. I encourage you to read it. The experience is bittersweet for us who know what was to follow. Indeed, it is difficult to believe that such a different world existed a mere ninety-nine years ago. As I looked at the pictures of the people, I wondered what happened to them. Those children—did they grow up to be enthusiastic Party members? Did they die during the wars? Were they sent to Siberia? Did they starve in the famine? Did they survive the seige?
How lamentable is history! What Alcibiades did and what he suffered! We are but fleeting specks off the rails on a long journey, and the train passes so quickly.