The Lenin Plot: The Unknown Story of America’s War Against Russia

Written by Barnes Carr
Review by Janice Ottersberg

The year 1917 was full of turmoil for Russia. Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate his throne, a provisional government took over, disputes over the direction of Russia’s government created factions, and Lenin and the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government. Carr writes of events leading up to the 1917 Revolution, but his primary focus is a secret plot by Western allies to unseat Lenin. Russia pulled out of WWI when Lenin made a pact with Germany, leaving the remaining allies at a disadvantage. The allies needed Russia back in the war. President Wilson was opposed to intervention, but he turned a blind eye while U.S. intelligence agents conspired with French and British agents and diplomats, and Russians opposed to Lenin. Attempts were made to raise a resistance army and numerous plots devised to overthrow or assassinate Lenin. Deceit, murder, and money laundering were the rule, while agents and double agents played their parts. In the end, large amounts of money were wasted and thousands died. Carr introduces numerous players, digressing with a personal history for each individual. Although interesting and integral to the story, this breaks the narrative. Regardless, this is a worthwhile read about little-known history.