London: Edinburgh University Press, 1919. First Russian edition. First Russian edition. Large octavo. Later cloth with decorative front wrapper preserved; 175,  pp. Eight leaves of color plates, one folded. Light soil to wrapper; first few pages slightly spotty; traces of moisture to gutter and lower edges; text and plates bright and clean. Item #1857
A scarce proposal for transforming the Russian agricultural system, with very attractive illustrations in full color depicting communal storage barns and field partitions. Balinsky created one of the first plans for an underground transportation system in St. Petersburg (1901) and Moscow (1902). Though World War I delayed these projects, some of Balinsky's plans were used in the construction of the Moscow Metro in the 1930s. The present work was conceived during WWI and first published in English as The Problem of Land Ownership (New York, 1918). As a new preface indicates, this Russian edition was prompted by Balinsky's conviction that the “Russian chaos” caused by the Bolsheviks would soon end and a rational agricultural model would need to be implemented. Writing after years in emigration, he adds: “the author is prompted by affection for the country in which his forebears lived, and where he himself was born and labored for fifty years” (2). OCLC shows six copies in the US and four in Europe. The Russian edition was likely published in a very small print run; scarce in the trade. Not in Savine.