Joined the Communist Party, 1919. Moved to Moscow. Worked in the administrative department of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party under Kaganovich, 1922. Was a ghost-writer for Bolshevik leaders.
Wrote Kaganovich’s first published article. Secretary of the Orgburo, 1923. Appointed Stalin’s personal secretary in August 1923, and became in practice the secretary of the Politburo.
As such had an opportunity to observe closely (according to his memoirs) the mafiosi methods of his boss in dealing with friends, comrades and enemies. Thought it wise to distance himself from this dangerous spot. Moved to two other jobs-in the High Council for Sport and in the Ministry of Finance.
Editor of Finansovaia Gazeta, 1926. Sent himself on a business trip to Soviet Central Asia. Fled from Ashkhabad to Persia, (1 January 1928).
Crossed the border to Iran while the border guards were drunk after a New Year party. After an adventurous journey, managed to escape from the GPU agent Agabekov, who had been sent by Stalin to hunt him down. Eventually arrived in Simla, British India.
Moved to Europe. Settled in France. After World War II lived in Britain.