The Significance of ——
By Armand Hammer with Neil Lyndon
——- To Me
This book was and adventure for me. I only vaguely was aware that Mr. Hammer had been a wealthy commercial figure in our history and that somehow he had along the way done things which opened the door for some to accuse him of being a communist. I was totally wrong in my thinking that his real manufacturing life was built around the baking powder product. He explained away that mis-understanding early in the book.
The adventure of it all comes from fortunate and unfortunate circumstances which took place early in his life. It all can be summed up with our understanding that in order for luck in life to play its hand fully then the recipient has to in most cases be prepared or conditioned for the luck to land in a fertile zone. Armand Hammer had prepared himself and when the opportunity came to him as a young college student he grasped it fully even though at the time he and his father thought it was going to be a burden.
So, as a young man he had obtained unheard of wealth and he took steps to maybe pay back some of his good fortunes by going abroad to his family’s old country, Russia, to help out with a disastrous plague they were experiencing. In reality the country was experiencing far more than the plague. Some of it was at famine levels and there was not a government organization in place to provide the support needed to overcome it. This put Hammer at one of those extraordinary cross-roads in history where something close to divine intervention takes place.
Lenin, the country’s leader, had led his people through a revolt that was based upon pure communistic ideals. Even though he had overcome his opponents by the use of a harsh revolt and maybe even a murderous revolt he came to realize when the burden of his leadership position settled upon him that a pure communistic system was not going to work. He had altered his thinking to the point where a New Economic Plan had to be considered and he was looking for a way to get it started. The appearance of a young Mr. Armand Hammer into his country was to Lenin, “a means to break the ice”.
So Hammer became a player in the Russian future to reorganize and change from a pure communistic economic system to a revised system of socialism: much like the socialistic system of our creditor – China. Of course Hammer did not know at the time his position in such a grand event and many probably today dispute this explanation as I have stated it but the events as described in this book make a good case for it all to be so.
No matter though, because even if all the grand economic stuff is fictitious it is still true that Hammer’s life experiences in Russia became a major fiber in his total personal life’s thread of events.
The events of his life brought him into personal contact with major world leaders of Russia and the United States. Sometimes the events were minute but they still were events that are great enough to add to adventure level of this story.
I would have felt that I cheated myself if I had not read the book especially since it was just sitting there for the taking in Nannette’s little library shelf.
Late summer of 2010