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Publisher's Summary

Groundbreaking in its inclusiveness, enthralling in its narrative of a movement whose purpose, in the words of Leon Trotsky, was "to overthrow the world", The Russian Revolution draws conclusions that aroused great controversy in this country. Richard Pipes argues convincingly that the Russian Revolution was an intellectual, rather than a class, uprising; that it was steeped in terror from its very outset; and that it was not a revolution at all but a coup d'etat - "the capture of governmental power by a small minority."

©1990 Richard Pipes (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about The Russian Revolution

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Destruction of the Lenin Myth

First, this is one of the classic, perhaps the classic history of the Russian Revolution written in English. Pipes was a great scholar but he also had a conservative bias. I have a liberal bias but I cannot disagree with any of his conclusions. The Russian monarchy had to go, Tsar Nicholas was an awful monarch but a good man, certainly a good family man. The February Revolution that I root for was great, the democratic socialist Provisional Government a great concept but a missed opportunity due to the ineptness of the leadership. The Bolshevik Revolution was not a revolution but a coup, Lenin was not a brilliant idealist but a brutal and ruthless plotter and I dictator with no shred of decency. Stalin was worse only in scale and pathology. By the way, most of Pipes’ assertions have been substantiated by the release of Russian records released after the publication of this book, including Lenin’s traitorous assistance from imperial Germany.

Michael Page is the excellent narrator.

This is a book of top notch scholarship but it’s also very well written, very lively with occasionally sharp irony.

48 people found this helpful

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Best Pre-Collapse Book on Russian Revolution

I strongly recommend reading Richard Pipes’ short title, “Communism: A History” before beginning reading any in-depth book such as this.

Simply put, this is the best overall book on the subject of The Russian Revolution. I own about 15 books on the subject and this is where you want to be for a detailed top-down look at the Revolution. This was published in 1990 so the author had very limited access to Soviet archives. That does not hinder his ability to tell this story.

The narrator, Michael Page, is not a big name but I loved him in a previous audible title so I’m happy he got to do this title as well.

Other outstanding related titles about the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism, available in Audible format, are works by Figes, Kotkin, McMeekin, Conquest, Remnick, and Alexievich. Those last two were written with many quotes from individuals to try to grasp the “feeling” of what certain events were like. That doesn’t mean they are lower quality. Both won major awards for their titles about Russia. I would definitely stay in these authors’ works unless you have a good reason to venture elsewhere.

37 people found this helpful

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Must have in your collection

In depth study of the revolution. Both well written and narrated. One fine history book.

6 people found this helpful

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Best book on the Russian revolution I’ve ever seen

Easily, and I’ve read or listened to most of them! Learned so much more than I thought I would

4 people found this helpful

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The Best and Final Say on the Bolshevik Revolution

Richard Pipes is surely missed. How his input would be vital today as America faces a similar predicament to the Russian revolution of 1917. His disdain for the nightmare that is communism is not to be missed, nor is his brutal assessment of the characters that seized control of the government by coup in 1917, namely Vladimir Lenin. The entire group of Bolshevik thugs who seized power were nothing more than sheltered intellectuals before they were ushered out of exile back into Russia, by aid of the Germans, to destabilize Russia. This way Russia would be forced to exit the war. There is not a more thorough assessment of the revolution, from the collapse of the tsarist government to the seizing of total control by the Bolsheviks. And unlike many authors who have written on this subject, you know where Pipes stands on the subject. Many authors sympathize with the communists. Not Pipes, and his work is absolutely monumental. The tragedy that was the Russian revolution continues to influence the world today, as communism won't die no matter how many times it fails miserably. Therefore one cannot recommend this book more highly. Michael Page's narration is perfect for this work. Being it is over 40 hours, his doesn't miss a beat. What a wonderful work. Truly the best out there.

3 people found this helpful

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Eye Opening

Possibly my favorite audiobook I’ve ever listened too, easily my favorite non fiction one. Before I was of the opinion that Lenin wasn’t that bad, his message was simply twisted by Stalin who was easily recognizable as a monster. As this book makes clear though Lenin laid the groundwork not just for Stalin but for similar terrors and repression’s during the 20th Century. The narration in addition was excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding history

This is one of the best histories of the Russian revolution. It is comprehensive and meticulously researched. Performance excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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Definitive history with excellent narration

Excellent narrator. Thorough, definitive history of the Russian Revolution. Sets the standard. No pretense, no revisionism.

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Excellent read, lots of information

More people should read this book to have a more complete understanding of just how pure evil the bolsheviks were, and how incompetent the imperial regime was.