'The greatest history of an event I know' - C.L.R. James Regarded by many as among the most powerful works of history ever written, The History of the Russian Revolution offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. This book presents, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the profound liberating character of the early Russian Revolution. Originally published in three parts, Trotsky's masterpiece is collected here in a single volume. It is still the most vital and inspiring record of the Russian Revolution ever published.
An unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history.
The definitive account of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky, its leader and key historian. Published to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, this edition of Trotsky's masterpiece, with a new foreword by Ahmed Shawki, tells the epic story of the remarkable events which transformed Russian and world history forever. Leon Trotsky was a leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution and author of My Life and The Revolution Betrayed. Ahmed Shawki is editor of International Socialist Review and author of Black Liberation and Socialism.
In The Russian Revolution, acclaimed historian Sean McMeekin traces the events which ended Romanov rule, ushered the Bolsheviks into power, and introduced Communism to the world. Between 1917 and 1922, Russia underwent a complete and irreversible transformation. Taking advantage of the collapse of the Tsarist regime in the middle of World War I, the Bolsheviks staged a hostile takeover of the Russian Imperial Army, promoting mutinies and mass desertions of men in order to fulfill Lenin's program of turning the "imperialist war" into civil war. By the time the Bolsheviks had snuffed out the last resistance five years later, over 20 million people had died, and the Russian economy had collapsed so completely that Communism had to be temporarily abandoned. Still, Bolshevik rule was secure, owing to the new regime's monopoly on force, enabled by illicit arms deals signed with capitalist neighbors such as Germany and Sweden who sought to benefit-politically and economically-from the revolutionary chaos in Russia. Drawing on scores of previously untapped files from Russian archives and a range of other repositories in Europe, Turkey, and the United States, McMeekin delivers exciting, groundbreaking research about this turbulent era. The first comprehensive history of these momentous events in two decades, The Russian Revolution combines cutting-edge scholarship and a fast-paced narrative to shed new light on one of the most significant turning points of the twentieth century.
The Russian Revolution may well be the most misunderstood event in modern history. In A People's History of the Russian Revolution, Neil Faulkner sets out to debunk the myths. In this fast-paced introduction to the tumultuous events, the Russian people are the heroes. Faulkner shows how a mass movement of millions, organised in democratic assemblies, mobilised for militant action, destroyed a regime of landlords, profiteers and warmongers.He rejects caricatures of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as authoritarian conspirators, 'democratic-centralists' or the progenitors of Stalinist dictatorship. He argues that the Russian Revolution was an explosion of democracy and creativity - and that it was crushed by bloody counter-revolution and replaced with a monstrous form of bureaucratic state-capitalism.Laced with first-hand testimony, this history seeks to rescue the democratic essence of the revolution from its detractors and deniers, offering a perfect primer for the modern reader.
In 1917 revolutionary fervour swept through Russia, ending centuries of imperial rule and instigating political and social changes that would lead to the formation of the Soviet Union. Arising out of proletariat discontent with the Tsarist autocracy and Lenin's proclaimed version of a Marxist ideology, the revolutionary period saw a complete overhaul of Russian politics and society and led directly to the ensuing civil war. The Soviet Union eventually became the world's first communist state and the events of 1917 proved to be one of the turning-points in world history, setting in motion a chain of events which would change the entire course of the twentieth century. Geoffrey Swain provides a concise yet thorough overview of the revolution and the path to civil war. By looking, with fresh perspectives, on the causes of the revolution, as well as the international response, Swain provides a new interpretation of the events of 1917, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the revolution.
Richard Pipes's authoritative history of the "violent and disruptive acts" that created the first modern totalitarian regime portrays the crisis at the heart of the tsarist empire. Drawing on archival materials newly released in Russia, he chronicles the upheaval that began as a conservative revolt but was soon captured by messianic intellectuals intent not merely on reforming Russia but on remaking the world. He provides fresh accounts of the revolution's personalities and policies, crises, and cruelties, from the murder of the royal family through civil war, famine, and state terror. Brilliantly and persuasively, Pipes shows us why the resulting system owes less to the theories of Marx than it did to the character of Lenin and Russia's long authoritarian tradition. What ensues is a path-clearing work that is indispensable to any understanding of the events of the century.
The Russian Revolution had a decisive impact on the history of the twentieth century. In the years following the collapse of the Soviet regime and the opening of its archives, it has become possible to step back and see the full picture. This fully updated new edition of Sheila Fitzpatrick's classic short history of the Russian Revolution takes into account the new archival and other evidence that has come to light since then, incorporating material that was previously inaccessible not only to Western but also to Soviet historians Starting with an overview of the roots of the revolution, Fitzpatrick takes the story from 1917, through Stalin's 'revolution from above', to the great purges of the 1930s. She tells a gripping story of a Marxist revolution that was intended to transform the world, visited enormous suffering on the Russian people, and, like the French Revolution before it, ended up by devouring its own children.
Unrivalled and wholly immersive, Orlando Figes's A People's Tragedy is a panorama of Russian society on the eve of the revolution and the story of its violent erasure. 100th Anniversary Edition Includes New Introduction In this acclaimed account, Figes follows workers, soldiers and peasants as their world is consumed by revolution. For what had started as a people's revolution contained the seeds of its degeneration into violence and dictatorship. A People's Tragedy is a masterful and definitive record of the Russian Revolution - vast in scope, exhaustive in original research and written with passion, narrative verve and human sympathy.
Rex A. Wade presents an essential overview of the Russian Revolution from its beginning in February 1917, through the numerous political crises under Kerensky, to the victory of Lenin and the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. This thoroughly revised and expanded third edition introduces students to new approaches to the Revolution's political history and clears away many of the myths and misconceptions that have clouded studies of the period. It also gives due space to the social history of the Revolution, incorporating people and places too often left out of the story, including women, national minority peoples, peasantry, and front soldiers. The third edition has been updated to include new scholarship on topics such as the coming of the Revolution and the beginning of Bolshevik rule, as well as the Revolution's cultural context. This highly readable book is an invaluable guide to one of the most important events of modern history.
Published in the centenary year of the 1917 Russian Revolution, No Less Than Mystic is a fresh and iconoclastic history of Lenin and the Bolsheviks for a generation uninterested in Cold War ideologies and stereotypes. Although it offers a full and complete history of Leninism, 1917, the Russian Civil War and its aftermath, the book devotes more time than usual to the policies and actions of the socialist alternatives to Bolshevism – to the Menshevik Internationalists, the Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs), the Jewish Bundists and the anarchists. It prioritises Factory Committees, local Soviets, the Womens’ Zhenotdel movement, Proletkult and the Kronstadt sailors as much as the statements and actions of Lenin and Trotsky. Using the neglected writings and memoirs of Mensheviks like Julius Martov, SRs like Victor Chernov, Bolshevik oppositionists like Alexandra Kollontai and anarchists like Nestor Makhno, it traces a revolution gone wrong and suggests how it might have produced a more libertarian, emancipatory socialism than that created by Lenin and the Bolsheviks. The book broadly covers the period from 1903 (the formation of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks) to 1921 (the suppression of the Kronstadt rebellion) and explains why the Bolshevik Revolution degenerated so quickly into its apparent opposite, and continually examines the Leninist experiment through the lens of a 21st century, de-centralised, ecological, anti-productivist and feminist socialism. Throughout its narrative it interweaves and draws parallels with contemporary anti-capitalist struggles such as those of the Zapatistas, the Kurds, the Argentinean “Recovered Factories”, Occupy, the Arab Spring, the Indignados and Intersectional feminists, attempting to open up the past to the present and points in between. We do not need another standard history of the Russian Revolution. This is not one.
The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921 is a new history of Russia's revolutionary era as a story of experience-of people making sense of history as it unfolded in their own lives and as they took part in making history themselves. The major events, trends, and explanations, reaching from Bloody Sunday in 1905 to the final shots of the civil war in 1921, are viewed through the doubled perspective of the professional historian looking backward and the contemporary journalist reporting and interpreting history as it happened. The volume then turns toward particular places and people: city streets, peasant villages, the margins of empire (Central Asia, Ukraine, the Jewish Pale), women and men, workers and intellectuals, artists and activists, utopian visionaries, and discontents of all kinds. We spend time with the famous (Vladimir Lenin, Lev Trotsky, Alexandra Kollontai, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Isaac Babel) and with those whose names we don't even know. Key themes include difference and inequality (social, economic, gendered, ethnic), power and resistance, violence, and ideas about justice and freedom. Written especially for students and general readers, this history relies extensively on contemporary texts and voices in order to bring the past and its meanings to life. This is a history about dramatic and uncertain times and especially about the interpretations, values, emotions, desires, and disappointments that made history matter to those who lived it.