Author: China Miéville
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2018-05-22
"Fantasy and science fiction writer China Miéville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own ... take on its history. In February 1917 ... Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history ... This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year"--
Author: China Miéville
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2017-05-09
Award-winning author China Miéville plunges us into the year the world was turned upside down On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, China Miéville tells the extraordinary story of this pivotal moment in history. In February of 1917 Russia was a backwards, autocratic monarchy, mired in an unpopular war; by October, after not one but two revolutions, it had become the world’s first workers’ state, straining to be at the vanguard of global revolution. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? In a panoramic sweep, stretching from St Petersburg and Moscow to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire, Miéville uncovers the catastrophes, intrigues and inspirations of 1917, in all their passion, drama and strangeness. Intervening in long-standing historical debates, but told with the reader new to the topic especially in mind, here is a breathtaking story of humanity at its greatest and most desperate; of a turning point for civilisation that still resonates loudly today.
Author: Sean McMeekin
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2017-05-30
The definitive, single-volume history of the Russian Revolution, from an award-winning scholar 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.
Author: Tariq Ali
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2017-04-25
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali paints an illuminating portrait of Lenin “Without Lenin there would have been no socialist revolution in 1917. Of this much we can be certain.” Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the October 1917 uprising, is one of the most misunderstood leaders of the twentieth century. In his own time, there were many, even among his enemies, who acknowledged the full magnitude of his intellectual and political achievements. But his legacy has been lost in misinterpretation; he is worshipped but rarely read. On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali explores the two major influences on Lenin’s thought—the turbulent history of Tsarist Russia and the birth of the international labour movement—and explains how Lenin confronted dilemmas that still cast a shadow over the present. Is terrorism ever a viable strategy? Is support for imperial wars ever justified? Can politics be made without a party? Was the seizure of power in 1917 morally justified? Should he have parted company from his wife and lived with his lover? In The Dilemmas of Lenin, Ali provides an insightful portrait of Lenin’s deepest preoccupations and underlines the clarity and vigour of his theoretical and political formulations. He concludes with an affecting account of Lenin’s last two years, when he realized that “we knew nothing” and insisted that the revolution had to be renewed lest it wither and die.
Author: Frederick C. Corney
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 2004
'Telling October' chronicles the construction of an official 'foundation narrative' by the Soviet Union as the new state sought to legitimise itself by portraying the October Revolution as the inevitable culmination of a historical process.
THE HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION Vol. I: The overthrow of Tzarism This book offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. It reveals, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the revolution's profoundly democratic, emancipatory character. In this first part Trotsky analyzes the social and political characteristics of Russia preceding the Revolution and presents the events of 1917 till July. It is an exciting chronicle and at the same time a historical document of extraordinary value. Bi Classics also published part 2 and 3 of this fundamental political and historical work. "During the first two months of 1917 Russia was still a Romanov monarchy. Eight months later the Bolsheviks stood at the helm. They were little known to anybody when the year began, and their leaders were still under indictment for state treason when they came to power. You will not find another such sharp turn in history especially if you remember that it involves a nation of 150 million people. It is clear that the events of 1917, whatever you think of them, deserve study." (L. Trotsky)
Author: Helen Rappaport
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2017-02-07
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanov Sisters, Caught in the Revolution is Helen Rappaport's masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eye-witness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold. Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St Petersburg) was in turmoil – felt nowhere more keenly than on the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt. There, the foreign visitors who filled hotels, clubs, offices and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps and beneath their windows. Among this disparate group were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, bankers, governesses, volunteer nurses and expatriate socialites. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home: from an English nurse who had already survived the sinking of the Titanic; to the black valet of the US Ambassador, far from his native Deep South; to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who had come to Petrograd to inspect the indomitable Women’s Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareva. Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action – to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped in a "red madhouse."
Author: Rex A. Wade
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-02
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.
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.
One of The Economist's Best Books of the Year A gripping, meticulously researched account of Lenin’s fateful 1917 rail journey from Zurich to Petrograd, where he ignited the Russian Revolution and forever changed the world In April 1917, as the Russian Tsar Nicholas II’s abdication sent shockwaves across war-torn Europe, the future leader of the Bolshevik revolution Vladimir Lenin was far away, exiled in Zurich. When the news reached him, Lenin immediately resolved to return to Petrograd and lead the revolt. But to get there, he would have to cross Germany, which meant accepting help from the deadliest of Russia’s adversaries. Millions of Russians at home were suffering as a result of German aggression, and to accept German aid—or even safe passage—would be to betray his homeland. Germany, for its part, saw an opportunity to further destabilize Russia by allowing Lenin and his small group of revolutionaries to return. Now, in Lenin on the Train, drawing on a dazzling array of sources and never-before-seen archival material, renowned historian Catherine Merridale provides a riveting, nuanced account of this enormously consequential journey—the train ride that changed the world—as well as the underground conspiracy and subterfuge that went into making it happen. Writing with the same insight and formidable intelligence that distinguished her earlier works, she brings to life a world of counter-espionage and intrigue, wartime desperation, illicit finance, and misguided utopianism. When Lenin arrived in Petrograd’s now-famous Finland Station, he delivered an explosive address to the impassioned crowds. Simple and extreme, the text of this speech has been compared to such momentous documents as Constantine’s edict of Milan and Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses. It was the moment when the Russian revolution became Soviet, the genesis of a system of tyranny and faith that changed the course of Russia’s history forever and transformed the international political climate.
London's Overthrow is a potent polemic describing the capital in a time of austerity at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Award-winning author and essayist China Miéville cuts through the hyperbole of our politicians to present a view from ordinary London - of the inequality, oppression and indignity and the hidden, subversive sentiment pervading throughout our streets. 'China Miéville does more than reveal the skull beneath the London's scabby, piebald skin; he offers effervescent nourishment for the downpressed souls that stalk the streets of his divided city. Anybody who wants to know what has happened here - in the ground zero of a failed neoliberal experiment - must start with his unsettling panorama.' Paul Gilroy 'Miéville gives us a vision of a pre-apocalyptic London, where the chasm between rich and poor has reached catastrophic levels and anger is the only reasonable response.' Hari Kunzru
Author: Ronald Suny
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2017
Genre: Soviet Union
Introduction: making history and the historian -- Part I. History and historians -- Back and beyond? Reversing the cultural turn -- Reading Russia and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century: how the West wrote its history of the USSR -- The empire strikes out: imperial Russia, national identity, and theories of empire -- Part II. Russia's revolutions -- Toward a social history of the October Revolution -- Revision and retreat in the historiography of 1917: social history and its critics -- Breaking eggs, making omelets: violence and terror in Russia's civil wars
Author: Stephen F. Williams
Publisher: Encounter Books
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Besides absolutists of the right (the tsar and his adherents) and left (Lenin and his fellow Bolsheviks), the Russian political landscape in 1917 featured moderates seeking liberal reform and a rapid evolution towards a constitutional monarchy. Vasily Maklakov, a lawyer, legislator and public intellectual, was among the most prominent of these, and the most articulate and sophisticated advocate of the rule of law, the linchpin of liberalism. This book tells the story of his efforts and his analysis of the reasons for their ultimate failure. It is thus, in part, an example for movements seeking to liberalize authoritarian countries today—both as a warning and a guide. Although never a cabinet member or the head of his political party—the Constitutional Democrats or “Kadets”—Maklakov was deeply involved in most of the political events of the period. He was defense counsel for individuals resisting the regime (or charged simply for being of the wrong ethnicity, such as Menahem Beilis, sometimes considered the Russian Dreyfus). He was continuously a member of the Kadets’ central committee and their most compelling orator. As a somewhat maverick (and moderate) Kadet, he stood not only between the country’s absolute extremes (the reactionary monarchists and the revolutionaries), but also between the two more or less liberal centrist parties, the Kadets on the center left, and the Octobrists on the center right. As a member of the Second, Third and Fourth Dumas (1907-1917), he advocated a wide range of reforms, especially in the realms of religious freedom, national minorities, judicial independence, citizens’ judicial remedies, and peasant rights.
Author: V. I. Lenin
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2017-09-19
One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Žižek shows why Lenin’s thought is still important today V. I. Lenin’s originality and importance as a revolutionary leader is most often associated with the seizure of power in 1917. But, in this new study and collection of Lenin’s original texts, Slavoj Žižek argues that his true greatness can be better grasped in the last two years of his political life. Russia had survived foreign invasion, embargo and a terrifying civil war, as well as internal revolts such as the one at Kronstadt in 1921. But the new state was exhausted, isolated and disorientated. As the anticipated world revolution receded into the distance, new paths had to be charted if the Soviet state was to survive. With his characteristic brio and provocative insight, Žižek suggests that Lenin’s courage as a thinker can be found in his willingness to face this reality of retreat unflinchingly. In today’s world, characterized by political turbulence, economic crises and geopolitical tensions, we should revisit Lenin’s combination of sober lucidity and revolutionary determination.