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The Russian Revolution 1917-1932

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This provocative and eminently readable work looks at the many upheavals of the Russian Revolution as successive stages in a single process. Focusing on the Russian Revolution in its widest sense, Fitzpatrick covers not only the events of 1917 and what preceded them, but the nature of the social transformation brought about by the Bolsheviks after they took power. Making u This provocative and eminently readable work looks at the many upheavals of the Russian Revolution as successive stages in a single process. Focusing on the Russian Revolution in its widest sense, Fitzpatrick covers not only the events of 1917 and what preceded them, but the nature of the social transformation brought about by the Bolsheviks after they took power. Making use of a huge amount of previously secret information in Soviet archives and unpublished memoirs, this detailed chronology recounts each monumental event from the February and October Revolutions of 1917 and the Civil War of 1918-1920, through the New Economic Policy of 1921 and the 1929 First Five-Year Plan, to Stalin's "revolution from above" at the end of the 1920s and the Great Purge of the late 1930s. Lucid and concise, this classic study makes comprehensible the complex events of the revolution.


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This provocative and eminently readable work looks at the many upheavals of the Russian Revolution as successive stages in a single process. Focusing on the Russian Revolution in its widest sense, Fitzpatrick covers not only the events of 1917 and what preceded them, but the nature of the social transformation brought about by the Bolsheviks after they took power. Making u This provocative and eminently readable work looks at the many upheavals of the Russian Revolution as successive stages in a single process. Focusing on the Russian Revolution in its widest sense, Fitzpatrick covers not only the events of 1917 and what preceded them, but the nature of the social transformation brought about by the Bolsheviks after they took power. Making use of a huge amount of previously secret information in Soviet archives and unpublished memoirs, this detailed chronology recounts each monumental event from the February and October Revolutions of 1917 and the Civil War of 1918-1920, through the New Economic Policy of 1921 and the 1929 First Five-Year Plan, to Stalin's "revolution from above" at the end of the 1920s and the Great Purge of the late 1930s. Lucid and concise, this classic study makes comprehensible the complex events of the revolution.

30 review for The Russian Revolution 1917-1932

  1. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    This is a critical but not "commie-bashing" view of the leading up to and implementation of the Russian revolution. It's a quick, coherent read. I liked it. Leninists wouldn't. Stalinists would hate it. Here's what I wrote for class: Fitzpatrick articulates tThe major impediment the Bolsheviks had to grapple with in the lead up to the revolution, and between February and October of 1917, was the teleological nature of Marxism. As capitalism was not well-established in Russia they believed it was This is a critical but not "commie-bashing" view of the leading up to and implementation of the Russian revolution. It's a quick, coherent read. I liked it. Leninists wouldn't. Stalinists would hate it. Here's what I wrote for class: Fitzpatrick articulates tThe major impediment the Bolsheviks had to grapple with in the lead up to the revolution, and between February and October of 1917, was the teleological nature of Marxism. As capitalism was not well-established in Russia they believed it was necessary for a revolution of the bourgeoisie to take place first in order to bring about widespread capitalism. Only then could a working class revolution occur to implement socialism and then communism. Yet events did not unfold in that manner. In the face of a teetering Provisional Government, a right-wing coup attempt and an increasingly militant and independently-mobilizing working class, the Bolsheviks had to act. After an internal debate, they opted for insurrection. Once they became the majority party in the soviets, they also had the legitimacy needed to act. In overthrowing the Provisional Government they either carried out a coup (Fitzpatrick) or defended the revolution against liberal and right-wing betrayal (Deutscher). Now in power, the Bolsheviks consolidated their rule, creating not a dictatorship of the proletariat but a dictatorship of the Bolshevik party, most of whom were part of the proletariat. They were forced to grapple with maintaining and expanding the revolution in the midst of World War One, fighting a civil war, dealing with economic distress and the realization that proletarian revolution in Europe was not right around the corner. This resulted in the New Economic Policy, followed by Stalin’s industrialization drive in order to establish socialism “in one country,” an effort to ensure Russia’s independence, sustainability and progress toward socialism in a time when no other socialist revolutions seemed likely. It also meant a vicious crackdown on opponents outside of the party, a stifling of intra-party dissent, and a tremendous toll on the peasantry in the seemingly never-ending quest for grain, workers, and socialism.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maja Solar

    Although Sheila Fitzpatrick does not speak as a socialist or leftist, she is definitely not malicious towards the Soviet history and her approach is scientific (I can't say ''neutral'', because such a thing in my opinion does not exist). There are interpretive lines with which I disagree (she repeats the story that the Bolshevik takeover was a coup d'etat, there is also too simplistic equalization of party discipline and unity with authoritarian tendencies, she develops a theses of the continuit Although Sheila Fitzpatrick does not speak as a socialist or leftist, she is definitely not malicious towards the Soviet history and her approach is scientific (I can't say ''neutral'', because such a thing in my opinion does not exist). There are interpretive lines with which I disagree (she repeats the story that the Bolshevik takeover was a coup d'etat, there is also too simplistic equalization of party discipline and unity with authoritarian tendencies, she develops a theses of the continuity between Lenin and Stalin etc.) But actually much can be learned from the book and it's very interesting author's reference to the complexity of the situation (for example with regard to the structure of the Bolshevik Party which was not at all homogeneous and in its dynamics showed variations of the stand and the heterogeneous internal factions etc.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    This book takes a rational, material analysis of the Russian Revolution. This second edition was released after the Soviet Empire was dissolved and the author had access to the newly opened Soviet archives. It starts off with explaining the political, economic, and social environment which bore the events of 1917. The real meat of the book though is its detailed analysis of the February and October Revolutions and the resulting Civil War. A fair bit of attention is paid to Lenin, Trotsky, and St This book takes a rational, material analysis of the Russian Revolution. This second edition was released after the Soviet Empire was dissolved and the author had access to the newly opened Soviet archives. It starts off with explaining the political, economic, and social environment which bore the events of 1917. The real meat of the book though is its detailed analysis of the February and October Revolutions and the resulting Civil War. A fair bit of attention is paid to Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin but only as leaders of the Revolution not a romanticization of them which I find is common in similar books. In these two chapters heavy attention is paid to how the party, and with it the state and its policies are shaped by the Bolshevik Revolution. With this era contextualized in such a light it helps to explain how the transition to Stalin's policies were taken. While Stalinism isn't an ideological conclusion to Leninism and Marxism, the policies that Lenin created were exploited by Stalin's 'Revolution From Above.' The differences between the various oppositions to Stalin's coup d'etat are also thoroughly explained from their ideological and political differences. Whether or not the USSR would have taken a different turn if it were not for Stalin will forever remain unclear and a historical "what-if." One of the most interesting parts of this book is how the party leaders had such an ambiguous and often times fluctuating definition of words/phrases like "socialism" and "workers' control." This was a flaw that left these things open for interpretation and ultimately misused or abused later on. All-in-all, a thorough explanation of early Soviet History and an important read for anyone looking to have a clear, materialist understanding of the Revolution and its ideological underpinnings.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Timratha

    I read this because I realized that the Russian Revolution was just a word in my head and I didn't know any of the details of the actual events. Now I do.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    I realised recently that I knew very little about the Russian revolution and then came across this book. The book sets the background to the February and November 1917 revolution. The defeat in the Sino-Russian 1905 was and a home based revolution resulted in the Tsar making a few changes and introduced a parliament in the Duma. However, they were cosmetic and failed to satisfy Lenin and other revolutionaries. Coupled with the WW1 defeats and mutinies by the navy and army the writing was on the I realised recently that I knew very little about the Russian revolution and then came across this book. The book sets the background to the February and November 1917 revolution. The defeat in the Sino-Russian 1905 was and a home based revolution resulted in the Tsar making a few changes and introduced a parliament in the Duma. However, they were cosmetic and failed to satisfy Lenin and other revolutionaries. Coupled with the WW1 defeats and mutinies by the navy and army the writing was on the walk for the Tsar. The Civil war and then the introduction of economic policies with limited success until the early 1930s. Then Stalin slowly took over using internal party bickering to cement his leadership. The role the peasants played albeit indirectly and the fixation on industrialisation. The purges which ultimately resulted in Stalin eliminating all opposition. What was fascinating is that it all could have been a lot different if Stalin had been sidelined. Lenin tried to do but was unable to do it before he died. For someone who knew little about the Russian revolution this booked increased my understanding.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zack Clemmons

    Not exactly a page-turner, but it's concision and detail are impressive. I figured the centenary of the revolutions of 1917 was as good a time as any to begin my own inevitable, inexorable, inevitably temporary slouch towards Marxism (I'm still in my early 20s, after all). And what a bizarre revolution, by the way. Say what you will about soviet socialism, at least it's an ideology. Russia, man.

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Steele

    An overview of the revolution from an academic perspective. In the late 1800's, the world perceived Russia as backwards and primitive. Some 80% of the people still lived rural, feudal lives. Feudalism was removed from law only in the 1860's, and yet due to concessions to the landowning class, nothing much had changed. Tsar Nicholas II had begun programs to modernize and bring Russia into the 20th century, but these measures were slow. Russia's educated professors and academics knew Russia was far An overview of the revolution from an academic perspective. In the late 1800's, the world perceived Russia as backwards and primitive. Some 80% of the people still lived rural, feudal lives. Feudalism was removed from law only in the 1860's, and yet due to concessions to the landowning class, nothing much had changed. Tsar Nicholas II had begun programs to modernize and bring Russia into the 20th century, but these measures were slow. Russia's educated professors and academics knew Russia was far behind the times, and there were many ideas for how to fix it faster and better than the current Tsarist autocracy. Many did not like the idea of following in the West's footsteps because they saw capitalism had created a small group of wealthy business owners, and an impoverished working class. Marxism was the only alternative, and many latched onto it as a way to modernize the country without falling into the same pit the West had dug for itself. But Marxist theory predicts the people would revolt against the factory owners only after those owners (the bourgeoisie) united as a class, took over the government either in secret or outright, and institutionalized the exploitation of the masses. The factory workers would then agree to construct a society in which one person's work did not benefit someone else, and everyone worked for his own enrichment (despite the ban on private property... Marx and Engels were vague on exactly how that would work). Russia was not even close to that stage; only a tiny minority of people actually worked in factories at the time. Though the poverty wages and dangerous working conditions characterizing industry had taken root in Russia by then, the plight of those workers did not represent the majority of the people yet. Marxist theory predicted the people would not revolt for a very long time. Nonetheless, Lenin and the Bolshevik party he led (all members of a quasi-class of educated intellectuals who studied Europe and its ways) wanted the people to revolt against the forces that oppressed them. It was an academic conclusion, though, not really something any of them had witnessed in Russia outside the factories. They began by forming, essentially, labor groups at each factory called "soviets," which would represent the will of the people. Their authority came to extend outward into the community as well. During WWI (perceived as an imperialist war to be boycotted), the Bolsheviks used the soviets to incite a revolt against the factory owners, who they believed oppressed the workers by taking them into pointless wars purely for the benefit of the ruling class. But they were not the only faction. While the Bolsheviks wanted to dispel with everyone who had benefited from the old system, the "Mensheviks" wanted to compromise with them and rule jointly. In an election, the Bolsheviks lost, but seized power anyway, claiming they had the factory workers on their side, and that's all that mattered. This started a civil war, which devastated the national economy and infrastructure. The peasants sided with the Bolsheviks because the party promised the land the peasants had tilled for generations would now belong to the peasants and not to landowners. The Mensheviks, however, wanted to keep the land ownership more or less as it had been, with all the people in the same place, and they would work with the old guard to take the country in a new direction. The Bolsheviks did not want that compromise. With victory theirs, Lenin's ruling party inherited a country in ruins. As a temporary solution, they instituted a New Economic policy (NEP), which was a return to capitalism as usual after the wartime policies that had been so unpopular during the civil war. Things seemed to return to normal again for a brief period while the country rebuilt from the revolution and civil war. Lenin died, and Stalin took power. The Bolsheviks were supposed to rule jointly, but despite their ideals of the will of the people guiding the country, the people had little to do with it. Even at the local level, the good of the people took second place to the real objective. The Bolsheviks had sent official members of the party to lead the individual soviets, and now orders came from above instead of from below. The party had become a bureaucracy with its own agenda, and the will of the people became irrelevant. Russia needed to catch up to the West, and the Bolsheviks saw communism as a way to achieve this quickly and without the oppression and poverty capitalism had created. The party took over industry for the express purpose of directing its growth. The party wanted to build more factories and export more goods, but didn't want to beg foreign powers for financing. Stalin decided to put the peasants to work. The party collectivized agriculture to produce grain for export so the state could raise money to build factories to produce new goods for export. Stalin's government set quotas for the peasants to meet, giving the peasant farmers only a small share of the total harvest as payment. It felt like feudalism all over again. Feeling betrayed by the party they had supported, the peasants resisted, and the disruptions caused famine across the nation. Those who fled the famine and the collectivization went to the cities and had little choice but to work in the new factories. After the first couple "Five-year plans," which rapidly built new industry and shed vestiges of the old culture, things became almost normal. The upper echelons of society formed a new class of elites. Those who had been promoted from the peasantry into the new administrative class enjoyed a life of relative ease. Private property was never really eliminated as Marx and Engels outlined, except in the case of the peasants, who often saw their possessions and land confiscated for the good of the country. For the factory workers, things did not improve, and their "dictatorship of the people" did not represent their interests at all. Wages fell, and workers who complained were punished or sent to labor camps. Though the Bolsheviks rejected the Mensheviks' idea of working with the people who had done well under the Tsar (specialists in mining, agriculture, engineering, etc.), that's exactly what they ended up doing. They did not have the knowledge to do everything themselves, so they had no choice but to reinstate the very people they demonized. In the 1930's, a party member fell to an assassination, and the old revolutionary paranoia of enemies around every corner surfaced again. The regime took a dark turn. In short: it was not communism. Marx and Engels never once stated communism could be a vehicle for modernization. They explicitly stated industry is already established, then the workers revolt and form their own society. The intellectuals behind the rebellion wanted to make it happen long before Russia's industry had matured, and they assumed the people would thank them for it. They also expected their revolution to spark worker's rebellions across Europe. When these things did not happen, they had to force people go to along with their plan. They viewed everyone who was prosperous or had specialized knowledge as a potential enemy of the people and the state, except for themselves. Their goal was never to make everyone equal, but to remove the people who exploited and oppressed other people. They saw the country divided into social classes, and the class above always oppressed the classes below it, but the people themselves did not see things this way. For example, some peasants were more prosperous than others, and the Bolsheviks figured the lesser peasants would welcome the party and unite behind them against the greater peasants, but this did not happen. The peasants viewed themselves as in the same boat, not one person against the other. The party was against religion because it saw the clergy as partners in the oppression of the people, exploiters who took from the masses and gave nothing back. The Bolsheviks were quick to view people in class terms, and that one class was the natural enemy of the other, but few outside of their educated circle shared this view. They failed to discern whether there was any exploitation going on. That was the central point Marx and Engels made of capitalism: it is a system of economics in which one person rises up and exploits the labor of someone else for personal gain. It wasn't happening in the rural countryside, so when the Bolsheviks tried to appeal to it, it didn't work, and they had to force the peasants to work for the party's larger goals. It was not the way communism was supposed to happen; Marx never stated people would have to be forced into it. Marx and Engels were very clear that communism was to be an agreement among the working people not to enrich themselves on someone else's labor at that person's expense, and nobody should get rich by making someone else poor. It was never meant to be a means of industrializing, or a method of reaching a larger goal. The Bolsheviks did not seek to oust an oppressive monarchy and create government by the people for the people, but to organize the people to modernize the country and surpass the West. With a goal like that, the Bolsheviks were doomed to become a totalitarian regime before the first riot ever happened. We, looking back on the events, tend to oversimplify the Russian Revolution, and communism itself. It's a time in history that cannot be easily summarized, and it requires a more in-depth look. This is a good overview of what happened. It stops with the Great Purges of the 1930's, when Stalin's atrocities against his own people for the purpose of modernizing Russia went from bad to worse, but that era deserves a book by itself.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shane Avery

    A serviceable, informative, and even analytical, exercise in concision. Still, I can't help but think something is missing in the text. e.g., "Recent calculations based on Soviet archival data put famine deaths in 1933 at three to four million," (140) is a rather laconic treatment of Stalin's seemingly deliberate policy of mass starvation (i.e., that's quite literally all she says about it). Further, the psychological angle is completely absent, which is problematic --especially considering the A serviceable, informative, and even analytical, exercise in concision. Still, I can't help but think something is missing in the text. e.g., "Recent calculations based on Soviet archival data put famine deaths in 1933 at three to four million," (140) is a rather laconic treatment of Stalin's seemingly deliberate policy of mass starvation (i.e., that's quite literally all she says about it). Further, the psychological angle is completely absent, which is problematic --especially considering the exceptionally, nay, extraordinarily high levels of paranoia and sadism that existed from 1917-1939 (the period she treats). There are complex things that she explains away by simply appealing to Crane Brinton -- very inadequate. But it's meant to be a history book that tells you about historical stuff: so in this respect I guess it does its job...

  9. 5 out of 5

    AskHistorians

    A shorter summary of the Revolution which is extremely readable.

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Schneider

    A solid and succinct survey of the Russian Revolution, Fitzpatrick’s work introduces the reader to its background and central elements. Her style is fine if forgettable. I only wish that the work had included more quotes and first hand accounts. I would recommend this work to anyone wishing to learn how the Soviet Union began.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ben Mokaya

    A concise “beginner’s guide” to the Russian Revolution; from the Romanovs, Lenin, and finally Stalin (Pre-WWII). Resorted to this while reading David Remnick’s Lenin’s Tomb which proved too detailed and difficult if you don’t have some background of the Soviet Empire’s history.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elana

    This book is truly amazing. I’ve never made it past the first paragraph. Like chloroform in book form. An insomniac’s dream.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Micah

    Incredibly clear and concise overview of the Russian Revolution. Wish I had read this book sooner.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Spen Cyrrh

    A bit breezy and vague for my preference, but a good primer.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael A.

    Written from the ideological standpoint of providing a balanced (pros/cons textbook type) historiography from a slightly obfuscated liberal (and thus anti-communist) viewpoint, Fitzpatrick accomplishes I think about as close to a non-ideological text as you can get within a subject inherently ideological, and an event even moreso. There is definitely more of a focus on the problems that arose from the revolution, but it isn't hard to believe that an upheaval like the Bolsheviks' wouldn't create Written from the ideological standpoint of providing a balanced (pros/cons textbook type) historiography from a slightly obfuscated liberal (and thus anti-communist) viewpoint, Fitzpatrick accomplishes I think about as close to a non-ideological text as you can get within a subject inherently ideological, and an event even moreso. There is definitely more of a focus on the problems that arose from the revolution, but it isn't hard to believe that an upheaval like the Bolsheviks' wouldn't create new problems. My only real critique is she skims over accomplishments (in a passing breath she calls Lenin a great leader). Stalin is portrayed probably better than usual, but still as an "authoritarian" "shadowy" "Machiavellian" figure - I think authoritarian is a pointless word but the latter two adjectives might be accurate vis-a-vis the Great Purges. Her hypothesis that the Great Purges were an attempt to disprove Trotsky's accusation of the Soviet Union becoming Thermidorian was interesting, but I don't know enough about anything to say how good of a hypothesis that is. I don't think it's that implausible to go back to what she said in that in Revolutionary times the maxim "better to let 10 guilty men go free than kill 1 innocent man" goes out the window, which accounts for the high body count for "class enemies" or "enemies of the people" - surely some were, surely not all or maybe most were. The book doesn't go into it much besides the assassination of an important leader in 1935, but despite the gruesome excesses, the purge Paranoia was understandable in a way. Either way, as a communist with marxist-leninist sympathies this is a concise text worth reading. Sort of felt like a "very short introduction" book but 10 times better.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I feel bad only giving this book 3 stars because the fault is more with me than with the book. This book is a very concise, academic historical telling of the Russian Revolution by a very distinguished historian. She believes the Russian Revolution did not end in 1917 or even 1922 but ended after Stalin's Purge in 1938. The fault I had with this book is that I knew nothing about Russian history before reading the book; therefore, it was too concise for me to get a good grasp of all the very compl I feel bad only giving this book 3 stars because the fault is more with me than with the book. This book is a very concise, academic historical telling of the Russian Revolution by a very distinguished historian. She believes the Russian Revolution did not end in 1917 or even 1922 but ended after Stalin's Purge in 1938. The fault I had with this book is that I knew nothing about Russian history before reading the book; therefore, it was too concise for me to get a good grasp of all the very complex elements going on during the time period written about by the author. However, I think if a person already knows something about Russian history and is interested in digging deeper in to this specific time period, this book is an excellent resource to deepen one's knowledge. It is used as a textbook in many college classrooms.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yogy TheBear

    A very good primer on the Russian Revolution. People who know the subject well may be shocked by the small size of the book (barely over 200 pages ), but this is a good point for new comers to the subject. The unique aspect of this book that is a good point for new comers and people who have good knowledge of the revolution is that the author instead of describing long, complex and mingled parts of the historical narrative of the revolution (like the actual military history of battles and factio A very good primer on the Russian Revolution. People who know the subject well may be shocked by the small size of the book (barely over 200 pages ), but this is a good point for new comers to the subject. The unique aspect of this book that is a good point for new comers and people who have good knowledge of the revolution is that the author instead of describing long, complex and mingled parts of the historical narrative of the revolution (like the actual military history of battles and factions of the civil war); she instead engages in a very modern and very accessible analyses and commentary on the events and the political ideology of the Bolsheviks. Her commentary is very damming twords the Bolsheviks but it is very natural and consistent.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    With the centennial in 2017 of the Russian Revolution, I decided it was time to learn more about it. Historian Sheila Fitzpatrick's book seemed like the most succinct book on the event. That can be a strength as well as a weakness. There were times when I wished she would elaborate a bit more - but if she did, she's have a book like several others on the topic running 900 pages. One interesting twist that Fitzpatrick provides: she takes her history of the Revolution all the way to the 1930s with With the centennial in 2017 of the Russian Revolution, I decided it was time to learn more about it. Historian Sheila Fitzpatrick's book seemed like the most succinct book on the event. That can be a strength as well as a weakness. There were times when I wished she would elaborate a bit more - but if she did, she's have a book like several others on the topic running 900 pages. One interesting twist that Fitzpatrick provides: she takes her history of the Revolution all the way to the 1930s with Stalin's purges, claiming that was the true end of the Revolution. Not sure I agree, but she backs up her claim pretty well. it's an interesting idea.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    "'Take power, you son of a bitch, when it's given to you!'" (quoting protester to a member of the Petrograd Soviet, 49) "The Bolsheviks' dilemma -- most dramatically illustrated when the Red Army marched into Poland in 1920 and the workers of Warsaw resisted the 'Russian invasion' -- was that the policies of proletarian internationalism in practice had a disconcerting similarity to the policies of old-style Russian imperialism." (70) "In the period 1928-32, urban population in the Soviet Union inc "'Take power, you son of a bitch, when it's given to you!'" (quoting protester to a member of the Petrograd Soviet, 49) "The Bolsheviks' dilemma -- most dramatically illustrated when the Red Army marched into Poland in 1920 and the workers of Warsaw resisted the 'Russian invasion' -- was that the policies of proletarian internationalism in practice had a disconcerting similarity to the policies of old-style Russian imperialism." (70) "In the period 1928-32, urban population in the Soviet Union increased by almost twelve million, and at least ten million persons left peasant agriculture and became wage-earners. These were enormous figures, a demographic upheaval unprecedented in Russia's experience and, it has been claimed, in that of any other country over so short a period." (141)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    This 2017 edition is the fourth by a pre-eminent Russian history professor. It is an excellent textbook--succinct, well-written, using new documents etc., and easily accessible to college students. Like many textbooks, it is "dry" in that there is little focus on individuals, their foibles and personalities, with the exception of Lenin and Stalin, and even with them the focus is to-the-point. Fitzpatrick packs a lot of information in 174 pages of text, perfect for a survey course (ours ran from This 2017 edition is the fourth by a pre-eminent Russian history professor. It is an excellent textbook--succinct, well-written, using new documents etc., and easily accessible to college students. Like many textbooks, it is "dry" in that there is little focus on individuals, their foibles and personalities, with the exception of Lenin and Stalin, and even with them the focus is to-the-point. Fitzpatrick packs a lot of information in 174 pages of text, perfect for a survey course (ours ran from the 1860s through 2017). So for a general outline of events and consequences this is a fine resource.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fernando Pestana da Costa

    In the centennary of the revolution a huge amount of books are been published about that momentous event. This short introduction is a classic that is now been published in Portugal in a Portuguese translation. Covering the about half century (from the late 19th Century to the Great Purges in the late 1930s) in about 300 pages, this is a very nice short introdution that will also point to more indepth studies. A welcome addition to the scant bibliography currently in print in Portugal (in the Po In the centennary of the revolution a huge amount of books are been published about that momentous event. This short introduction is a classic that is now been published in Portugal in a Portuguese translation. Covering the about half century (from the late 19th Century to the Great Purges in the late 1930s) in about 300 pages, this is a very nice short introdution that will also point to more indepth studies. A welcome addition to the scant bibliography currently in print in Portugal (in the Portuguese language) about what is arguably the most important political and social event of the 20th Century.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

    A concise, readable overview of the main events leading up to, and including the Russian Revolution. I thought it was a mostly fair account, however if you're looking for a sympathetic account on behalf of the revolutionaries, this is not for you. There is much about their failures and hypocrisy especially as they got further from 1917. I wasn't aware of how dire a situation there was in Imperial Russia before the revolution and this book also opened my eyes to that, and the attempts at reform i A concise, readable overview of the main events leading up to, and including the Russian Revolution. I thought it was a mostly fair account, however if you're looking for a sympathetic account on behalf of the revolutionaries, this is not for you. There is much about their failures and hypocrisy especially as they got further from 1917. I wasn't aware of how dire a situation there was in Imperial Russia before the revolution and this book also opened my eyes to that, and the attempts at reform in the later years of the monarchy. This certainly got me interested in reading more about the Russian Revolution.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dorankagmail.com

    It's not the easiest read in the world, but The Russian Revolution 1917-1932 is a comprehensive history of the Marxist/Socialist revolutions in Russia that put Lenin and the Bolsheviks in power and eventually led to Stalin's Russia. This is important history to know, and relevant today as some of the same urges for a socialist society are bubbling up in the United States of America. The book is well done, but it's a slow read that takes time to understand and digest. I only read a few pages per ni It's not the easiest read in the world, but The Russian Revolution 1917-1932 is a comprehensive history of the Marxist/Socialist revolutions in Russia that put Lenin and the Bolsheviks in power and eventually led to Stalin's Russia. This is important history to know, and relevant today as some of the same urges for a socialist society are bubbling up in the United States of America. The book is well done, but it's a slow read that takes time to understand and digest. I only read a few pages per night over the course of 6 months and other books. I took notes, which slowed things down but helps me comprehend all of these events.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Squishy Bubblesnog

    This was a well written, easy to follow history from Lenin to Stalin. I enjoyed the narrative and style of writing. The only thing I would wish for was a more in depth look at the WWII experience coming out of the 5 Year Plan but I understand why it was not included. There's so many angles presented and ideas put forth that the addition of such a large aspect would have overwhelmed the average reader. Overall I thought this was a good bridge between the Romanovs and the USSR of the post-Revoluti This was a well written, easy to follow history from Lenin to Stalin. I enjoyed the narrative and style of writing. The only thing I would wish for was a more in depth look at the WWII experience coming out of the 5 Year Plan but I understand why it was not included. There's so many angles presented and ideas put forth that the addition of such a large aspect would have overwhelmed the average reader. Overall I thought this was a good bridge between the Romanovs and the USSR of the post-Revolution.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    3.5 stars. Unnecessarily dry, but definitely a solid overview -- she's particularly good on the February/October revolutions. Every time I read about Lenin in 1917 I'm reminded that one person really can change the course of history through dogged determination (unfortunately!). If Lenin had accidentally drowned in his bathtub in Germany in 1915 (and if Kerensky hadn't been so incompetent in the summer of 1917), I'd say there's an 80%+ chance that Russia would have stumbled its way into a standa 3.5 stars. Unnecessarily dry, but definitely a solid overview -- she's particularly good on the February/October revolutions. Every time I read about Lenin in 1917 I'm reminded that one person really can change the course of history through dogged determination (unfortunately!). If Lenin had accidentally drowned in his bathtub in Germany in 1915 (and if Kerensky hadn't been so incompetent in the summer of 1917), I'd say there's an 80%+ chance that Russia would have stumbled its way into a standard liberal democracy by the late 1920s.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Wilson

    I dove into The Gulag Archipelago, but quickly realized I had no idea the political, social, economic, etc. atmosphere of the time. I decided to educate myself on the history of the Russian Revolution in order to better understand some of the other books I’m looking to read. The Russian Revolution, while somewhat difficult to understand and follow at times, certainly provided a decent summary of the events. I am looking forward to getting back into The Gulag Archipelago with this new knowledge.

  27. 4 out of 5

    twilightsprincess

    ついに読み終わったよー つまらなかった!長い論文みたい。 Finally finished this booookk! It was so painful! Like a really long thesis. **I don't even remember one word that I read and I just couldn't concentrate on it. I'd fall asleep after one page which is not usual for me! It killed me that I didn't enjoy this though because I wanted to learn more about the revolution and Stalin. This book is missing everything that makes the revolution, communism, etc fascinating: the people! Its just a lot of policy written convolutely. ついに読み終わったよー つまらなかった!長い論文みたい。 Finally finished this booookk! It was so painful! Like a really long thesis. **I don't even remember one word that I read and I just couldn't concentrate on it. I'd fall asleep after one page which is not usual for me! It killed me that I didn't enjoy this though because I wanted to learn more about the revolution and Stalin. This book is missing everything that makes the revolution, communism, etc fascinating: the people! Its just a lot of policy written convolutely. I usually read a book in a week and this took me a month - just let me go cry in a corner now.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linnea Pierre

    The fact that Fitzpatrick's work is endorsed by the late Eric Hobsbawm speaks very highly of her. She's certainly more sympathetic to the Communist goal than say Orlando Figes but she doesn't engage in apologetics for it, which I really appreciate. I'm currently reading through her other works, starting with Stalin's Peasants

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Baitz

    Short and concise, a surprisingly detailed account in 170 pages. Covers conditions that led up to 1917, up until the the Purges of '37. Great if you need a quick overview or introduction, which is exactly what it was written to be.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    A very succinct history, well organized and easily understood. I highly recommend it. My favorite quote is the first paragraph of the section "Interpreting the revolution" in the Introduction. Current societies pay attention.

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