Russia in Revolution

An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: History, Russia
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Russian Revolution of 1917 transformed the face of the Russian empire, politically, economically, socially, and culturally and also profoundly affected the course of world history for the rest of the 20th century. Historian S. A. Smith presents a panoramic account of the history of the Russian empire, from the last years of the 19th century, through the First World War and the revolutions of 1917 and the establishment of the Bolshevik regime, to the end of the 1920s, when Stalin simultaneously unleashed violent collectivization of agriculture and crash industrialization upon Russian society.

Drawing on recent archivally based scholarship, Russia in Revolution pays particular attention to the varying impact of the Revolution on the various groups that made up society: peasants, workers, non-Russian nationalities, the army, women and the family, young people, and the church. In doing so, it provides a fresh way into the big, perennial questions about the Revolution and its consequences: Why did the attempt by the tsarist government to implement political reform after the 1905 Revolution fail? Why did the First World War bring about the collapse of the tsarist system? Why did the attempt to create a democratic system after the February Revolution of 1917 not get off the ground? Why did the Bolsheviks succeed in seizing and holding on to power? Why did they come out victorious from a punishing civil war? Why did the New Economic Policy they introduced in 1921 fail? And why did Stalin come out on top in the power struggle inside the Bolshevik party after Lenin's death in 1924?

A final chapter then reflects on the larger significance of 1917 for the history of the 20th century - and, for all its terrible flaws, what the promise of the Revolution might mean for us today.

©2017 S. A. Smith (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent centenary look at the complete revolutio

This book was great as a balanced look at the events of the Russian revolution, including a part that many books miss - the Civil War and the NEP.

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Excellent

Great introduction to revolutionary Russia. Somewhat unique in that, while it does not shy away from critique of the bolsheviks, it does not set out to paint them as the worlds greatest villains

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but way too long

From a political scientists’ point of view, I find it very interesting that the author puts so mich focus into non-political causes and conditions surrounding the revolution. Yet, still, a big minus is that the author includes way, way, way too many unnecessary details - to the extent that I think the book could have been half as long, and still made the same point. There is simply top much “noise” in that respect. At the same time, the author sometimes makes statements that appear to be stated facts, even as they are still very much up for discussion. Whether Lenin received payments from the German government in 1917 is one such example. It is not a bad book. It’s just not... very good either.

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  • Manish
  • 03-31-19

Collapse of Tsarist Russia

This is a fascinating period of time. What drew me to this book was that it also covered the early years of communist rule, the civil war and the first years of Stalin. However I found it very light on the last 3 with very little analysis and very little on the main communist power players. It was particularly light on the civil war and the role of the Western powers.

2 people found this helpful