Aleksandr Nikitenko, born into Russian serfdom in 1804, almost miraculously gained his freedom as a young man, thirty-seven years before serfdom was abolished in the Russian Empire. His compelling autobiography -- here translated into English for the first time -- is one of the very few ever written by an ex-serf. Nikitenko describes the tragedy, despair, unpredictability, and astounding luck of his youth, bringing to life as never before the experience of a serf in nineteenth-century Russia.
A rare and powerful document. Nikitenko s memoir should take its place next to the very best ex-slave narratives and those of untouchables in India.