What is included with this book?
From the author of A People's Tragedy, an original reading of the Russian Revolution, examining it not as a single event but as a hundred-year cycle of violence in pursuit of utopian dreams
In this elegant and incisive account, Orlando Figes offers an illuminating new perspective on the Russian Revolution. While other historians have focused their examinations on the cataclysmic years immediately before and after 1917, Figes shows how the revolution, while it changed in form and character, nevertheless retained the same idealistic goals throughout, from its origins in the famine crisis of 1891 until its end with the collapse of the communist Soviet regime in 1991.
Figes traces three generational phases: Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who set the pattern of destruction and renewal until their demise in the terror of the 1930s; the Stalinist generation, promoted from the lower classes, who created the lasting structures of the Soviet regime and consolidated its legitimacy through victory in war; and the generation of 1956, shaped by the revelations of Stalin's crimes and committed to "making the Revolution work" to remedy economic decline and mass disaffection. Until the very end of the Soviet system, its leaders believed they were carrying out the revolution Lenin had begun.
With the authority and distinctive style that have marked his magisterial histories, Figes delivers an accessible and paradigm-shifting reconsideration of one of the defining events of the twentieth century.
1. The Start 7
2. The ‘Dress Rehearsal’ 24
3. Last Hopes 39
4. War and Revolution 54
5. The February Revolution 68
6. Lenin’s Revolution 89
7. Civil War and the Making of the Soviet System 108
8. Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin 125
9. The Revolution’s Golden Age? 135
10. The Great Break 149
11. Stalin’s Crisis 163
12. Communism in Retreat? 176
13. The Great Terror 190
14. Revolution for Export 204
15. War and Revolution 217
16. Revolution and Cold War 230
17. The Beginning of the End 244
18. Mature Socialism 260
19. The Last Bolshevik 273
20. Judgement 288
A Short Guide to Further Reading 306