(Victoria Drey’s article appeared in Russia Beyond the Headlines, 7/26.)

This year marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of the great Irish author. RBTH explores why Russia and the Soviet Union held a special place in his heart.

Bernard Shaw’s (author’s full name was George Bernard Shaw) fans celebrate a big anniversary on July 26: 160 years since the great author’s birth in 1856. Shaw died in 1950.

The author of 63 plays, several novels and thousands of essays and critical works, a Nobel Prize laureate in 1925 and perhaps the second most popular English-language dramatist after Shakespeare, Shaw is even more interesting for Russian readers as he was a friend of Russia and the Soviet Union until the end of his life.

Shaw supported 'red' side from USSR’s humble beginning

The author’s visit to Moscow in 1931 was especially notable. But Shaw had already repeatedly expressed his sympathy for communism in Russia. In 1914 he sent a letter to the editorial office of the communist newspaperPravda where he offered his congratulations on a Russian labor party anniversary.

Shaw was a member of the Fabian Society, a British socialist organization, and after the October Revolution in 1917 in Russia Shaw took part in the Hands Off Russia campaign. As part of this movement the writer opposed the British intervention on the side of the White Army during the Russian Civil War. At the same time he followed Lenin’s politics and even called him the “only really interesting statesman in Europe.”


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