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Perhaps the personification of the view of Russia as intrinsically and by definition the villain of the piece was the American historian Richard Pipes. Pipes could be said to be for Russia what Bernard Lewis was for Islam - deeply hostile to a subject about which, however, he knew a great deal. Also like Lewis, he was associated with the Neo-Conservative tendency, and Jewish. His son, Daniel, played a leading role in 'Campus Watch', formed to keep an eye on college lecturers with Palestinian sympathies, and he himself was to play an important role in the mid-eighties when Solzhenitsyn was being accused of anti-semitism.

In the 1970s, when Solzhenitsyn was in despair over the American defeat in Vietnam (did he have any idea of the means by which America was waging war in Vietnam?) and urging the US to stand firm against Communism, Pipes was running 'Team B', set up by the then head of the CIA, George Bush (Sr), to second guess the conclusions that were being drawn by the American intelligence community that the Soviet Union was in economic difficulties which were having an unfavourable effect on its military capacity. It therefore posed less of a military threat, a conclusion that was naturally unwelcome to the US military establishment and the armaments industry. Team B was set up by the then Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, and included among its members a younger Paul Wolfowitz. It was the model for the later 'Office of Special Plans', set up by Wolfowitz in 2002, also under Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defence, to undermine the CIA's assessment that the Iraqi government had little or nothing in the way of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

In the 1970s, then, Pipes and Solzhenitsyn could be described as (to use an old Marxist Leninist term) 'objective' allies in opposition to the then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's policy of détente with the Soviet Union. The analysis in Pipes' book on The Russian Revolution, 1899-1919, also seems to me to resemble that of Solzhenitsyn in The Red Wheel, especially the recognition that the real revolution was in February and that October was just a coup d'état. This seems obvious now but it was less obvious when Soviet historiography was still a force to be reckoned with.

But Pipes' Russian Revolution was only published in 1990. In the 1970s Solzhenitsyn knew him mainly as the author of Russia under the old régime, first published in 1974. In 'The Seed' he describes how, when he was working on the archives in the Hoover Institution (in 1976, specifically on the assassination of Stolypin) he was asked to speak: 'Good, I introduced into the talk what was my preoccupation of the moment: why Western researchers did not quite understand [7] Russia, what was the basis of their systematic error, why their judgments on her go astray (I cited in passing Richard Pipes' book on old Russia - thus making for myself over many years a passionate and influential enemy).' (p.335)

[7]  This is my reading of the French but I think it should be 'did not at all understand'

In an essay published in the US journal Foreign Affairs, ('Misconceptions about Russia are a threat to America', Foreign Affairs Vol 58, No.4, Spring 1980, pp.797-834), Solzhenitsyn said: 

'Richard Pipes' book Russia Under the Old Regime may stand as typical of a long series of such pronouncements that distort the image of Russia. Pipes shows a complete disregard for the spiritual life of the Russian people and its view of the world - Christianity. He examines entire centuries of Russian history without reference to Russian Orthodoxy and its leading proponents (suffice to say that St. Sergius of Radonezh, whose influence upon centuries of Russian spiritual and public life was incomparably great, is not once mentioned in the book, while Nil Sorsky is presented in an anecdotal role). Thus, instead of being shown the living being of a nation, we witness the dissection of a corpse. Pipes does devote one chapter to the Church itself, which he sees only as a civil institution and treats in the spirit of Soviet atheistic propaganda. This people and this country are presented as spiritually under developed and motivated, from peasant to tsar, exclusively by crude material interests. Even within the sections devoted to individual topics there is no convincing, logical portrayal of history, but only a chaotic jumble of epochs and events from various centuries, often without so much as a date. The author wilfully ignores those events, persons or aspects of Russian life which would not prove conducive to his thesis, which is that the entire history of Russia has had but a single purpose - the creation of a police state. He selects only that which contributes to his derisive and openly hostile description of Russian history and the Russian people. The book allows only one possible conclusion to be drawn: that the Russian nation is anti-human in its essence, that it has been good for nothing throughout its thousand years of history, and that as far as any future is concerned it is obviously a hopeless case. Pipes even bestows upon Emperor Nicholas I the distinction of having invented totalitarianism. Leaving aside the fact that it was not until Lenin that totalitarianism was ever actually implemented, Mr. Pipes, with all his erudition, should have been able to indicate that the idea of the totalitarian state was first proposed by Hobbes in his Leviathan (the head of the state is there said to have dominion not only over the citizens' lives and property, but also over their conscience). Rousseau, too, had leanings in this direction when he declared the democratic state to be "unlimited sovereign" not only over the possessions of its citizens, but over their person as well.

As a writer who has spent his whole life immersed in the Russian language and Russian folklore, I am particularly pained by one of Pipes' "scholarly" techniques. From among some 40,000 Russian proverbs, which in their unity and their inner contradictions make up a dazzling literary and philosophical edifice, Pipes wrests those half dozen (in Maxim Gorky's tendentious selection) which suit his needs, and uses them to "prove" the cruel and cynical nature of the Russian peasantry. This method affects me in much the same way as I imagine Rostropovich would feel if he had to listen to a wolf playing the cello.

There are two names which are repeated from book to book and article to article with a mindless persistence by all the scholars and essayists of this tendency: Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, to whom - implicitly or explicitly - they reduce the whole sense of Russian history. But one could just as easily find two or three kings no whit less cruel in the histories of England, France or Spain, or indeed of any country, and yet no one thinks of reducing the complexity of historical meaning to such figures alone. And in any case, no two monarchs can determine the history of a thousand-year-old nation. But the refrain continues. Some scholars use this technique to show that communism is possible only in countries with a "morally defective" history, others in order to remove the stigma from communism itself, laying the blame for its incorrect implementation upon Russian national characteristics.'