A Concise History of the Russian Revolution

A Concise History of the Russian Revolution

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by Richard Pipes
     
 

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Professor Pipes gives us a succinct and compelling interpretation of the 'sequence of violent and disruptive acts' whose political, social, and ideological consequences will continue to be felt for generations to come. The author discusses the factors that made the Revolution possible; recounts Lenin's seizure of power and the murder of the Romanovs; describes the… See more details below

Overview

Professor Pipes gives us a succinct and compelling interpretation of the 'sequence of violent and disruptive acts' whose political, social, and ideological consequences will continue to be felt for generations to come. The author discusses the factors that made the Revolution possible; recounts Lenin's seizure of power and the murder of the Romanovs; describes the civil war between Whites and Reds, the brutal famine of 1921, and the subsequent consolidation of the Bolshevik state; shows how the Stalinist system was primarily Lenin's creation; and argues that much of what the Communists did was truly Russian in character rather than imported from the West.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Distilled from his previous books, Pipes's narrative examines both the revolution itself and its negative repercussions for Russian society. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Pipes (history, Harvard Univ.) has condensed his two-volume opus, The Russian Revolution (LJ 11/1/90) and Russia Under the Bolsheviks (LJ 3/15/94), into a single readable volume. Forcefully showing why the 70-year-old Communist experiment failed, he provides the nonacademic reader with accurate historical events in a highly readable format. Only a minor flaw in the fourth chapter, where he fails to explain who the Mensheviks were until 30 pages later in the next chapter, mars this excellent book. The approach parallels Dominic Lieven's contemporary volume Nicholas II (LJ 1/94) but is better organized and more complete. The last chapter does a fine job of summing up the revolution and adds a curious comparison between Bolshevik and Tsarist Russia. Ultimately, Pipes shows how the seeds of destruction of communism were planted at its inception in 1917. Recommended for public, academic, and school libraries.-Harry Willems, Kansas Lib. System, Iola
Gilbert Taylor
For the busy but interested reader, Pipes has condensed his classic two-volume analysis of Russia's tragic cataclysm. How that great country became saddled with and ruined by Communism is complex--despite the Bolshevik victors' claims for historical inevitability. Without World War I, they would have remained an obscure intelligentsia; Lenin doubted he would live to see the revolution scarcely weeks before the czar's abdication. Of course, Russia had muddled through the 19th century quasi-expectant of a revolution, ardently so by socialist terrorists, apprehensively so by liberals "and conservatives; and the 1905 revolution should have revealed to everyone what a full-blown social overthrow" would be like. But as Pipes cogently and rather wistfully describes, the reformist track under Stolypin was stymied by the monarchist reactionaries. After the bizarre interlude of Alexandra and Rasputin, enter Kerensky, the Reds Lenin and Trotsky, the Whites Kolchak and Denikin, and the dolorous drama unfolds. Despite its sadness, insight abounds in this history, among the most reliably researched and skillfully synthesized works ever written on the revolution.
Booknews
A highly readable, succinct interpretation of the preconditions, events, and immediate sequelae of the Russian Revolution, unsurprisingly cast in Pipes' (history, Harvard U.) conservative ideology. Includes b&w photographs, glossary, chronology, and suggested reading list. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"A deep and eloquent condemnation of the revolution and its aftermath."—The New York Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679422778
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/10/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
6.61(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.31(d)

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