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The Fall of Tsarismreveals to the world for the first time a unique selection of interviews with leading participants in the February Revolution in Petrograd, sources that have been hidden for most of a century. Focusing on the pivotal period between the outbreak of the popular uprising on 27 February 1917 and the fall of the Russian monarchy five days later, these gripping, plain-spoken testimonies take the reader directly to the revolutionary headquarters inside the Tauride Palace. The interviews present wide-ranging perspectives on the events, politics, and personalities of the February Days from a diverse group of key political figures as well as lesser-known activists, including: M.V. Rodzianko, the conservative president of the last Imperial Duma; P.V. Gerasimov, the liberal Duma deputy; N.S. Chkheidze, leading Menshevik and the first chairman of the Petrograd Soviet; A.F. Kerenskii, the future revolutionary premier; and M.I. Tereshchenko, the 'repentant capitalist' and Provisional Government minister. Recorded between 1 May and 7 June 1917, months before the Bolshevik takeover -at a time when the outcome of the revolution was far from obvious - the interviews are free of any post-1917 hindsight and represent the most significant contemporary testimony on the overthrow of Europe's last old regime. The original transcripts, which remained in private hands between 1917 and 2006, appear here for the first time. The story of the interviews is told in the introduction, including their incredible survival through many of the twentieth-century's wars and revolutions. The book also contains historical annotations, short biographical sketches on the interviewees, rare illustrations, maps, a glossary, and a chronology of events, placing this unique documentary collection in its wider historical context.
Semion Lyandres is Associate Professor of Modern Russian History, University of Notre Dame, and author of The Bolshevik's German Gold Revisited: An Inquiry into the 1917 Accusations (1995). He is also co-editor, with Dietmar Wulff, of the diaries of Petr P. Vologodskii.