9780805091311

Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991 A History

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780805091311

  • ISBN10:

    0805091319

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 4/8/2014
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books
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Summary

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.

Author Biography

Orlando Figes is the author of eight books on Russia that have been translated into twenty-seven languages; they include The Whisperers, A People’s Tragedy, Natasha’s Dance, and Just Send Me Word. A professor of history at Birkbeck, University of London and a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, Figes is the recipient of the Wolfon History Prize, the W. H. Smith Literary Award, the NCR Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among others.

Table of Contents

Introduction          1 

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

Notes          297

A Short Guide to Further Reading          306

Acknowledgments          309

Index          311

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