Arthur Ransome knew Russia. He lived there from 1914 to 1918 almost all the time. He taught himself Russian and became a foreign correspondent for the liberal Daily News and Manchester Guardian. More than that, he came to know many of the Bolshevik leaders like Lenin, Trotsky and Checherin almost as personal friends, and, indeed, married Trotsky's secretary, Evgenia Petrovna Shelepina.
Arthur Ransome as a commentator on the Russian scene at the most convulsive moment in its history is unique. Unlike famous visitors like H. G. Wells (though his marvellous book, Russia in the Shadows shouldn't be overlooked) and Bertrand Russell, his was no brief journalistic inspection: and unlike other reporters such as John Reed, Victor Serge and Alfred Rosmer there was no tendentiousness in what he wrote - they were convinced revolutionaries, Ransome, although not unsympathetic to the Bolshevik cause, was a more objective recorder.
Six Weeks in Russia, The Crisis in Russia and the pamphlet, The Truth about Russia constitute the best contemporary writing about Russia at the time of the Bolshevik takeover. They were reissued in the early 1990s, with an introduction by Paul Foot which has been retained for the Faber Finds reissue of Six Weeks in Russia; otherwise they have been out of print since first published
Ideal for the beginner, Competent Crew also includes a comprehensive glossary, clear explanatory diagrams and photos in full colour, the syllabus of the RYA Competent Crew course and self-testing questions and answers. It will prove invaluable for novice sailors and those embarking on this first level RYA course.
This new edition benefits from a lively new design and revised text. Fresh diagrams and photographs have updated the look, and the text has been completely revised, in line with RYA course guidelines.
'This is just what the crew member needs to digest before he sets foot on board' Yachting Monthly
'Very definitely an invaluable textbook for anyone starting off' Sailing
But most sailing technique books assume a crew of 3 or 4, all willing to lend a hand. This book is therefore a first, addressing the most common sailing scenarios that anyone cruising will have to deal with, and providing clever, original, highly effective (and most importantly successfully tried and tested by the author) techniques and solutions for dealing with the huge variety of essential operations on a boat – from sail setting and reefing, to picking up mooring buoys in a variety of wind and tide situations, anchoring, berthing and leaving a pontoon shorthanded, picking up a man overboard, sailing in fog and heavy weather – and even going up the mast.
This book will be a godsend to anyone sailing single or shorthanded – including couples with young children who need to be supervised by one parent whilst the other runs the boat.
Organised into techniques for different cruising scenarios, the book features step by step sequential photos showing exactly how to approach each situation and carry out the task in hand.