Formation Of The Soviet Union / Edition 2

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Here is the history of the disintegration of the Russian Empire, and the emergence, on its ruins, of a multinational Communist state. In this revealing account, Richard Pipes tells how the Communists exploited the new nationalism of the peoples of the Ukraine, Belorussia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Volga-Ural area--first to seize power and then to expand into the borderlands.

The Formation of the Soviet Union acquires special relevance in the post-Soviet era, when the ethnic groups described in the book once again reclaimed their independence, this time apparently for good.

In a 1996 Preface to the Revised Edition, Pipes suggests how material recently released from the Russian archives might supplement his account.

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Editorial Reviews

Russian Review
Pipes has succeeded remarkably well in elucidating a most complex subject and in giving a systematic, well-documented, and well-written account of the stormy years, 1917-1923.
Political Science Quarterly

Review of the First Edition:

Simply to chronicle the highly complicated sequence of events in the ethnic borderlands of Russia during the tumultuous years between 1917 and 1923 is a difficult problem by itself. Richard Pipes has not only accomplished this task...but he has given this complex story meaning and perspective.

International Journal
The most lucid description of the nationalist revolutionary upheavals following the October revolution.
Political Science Quarterly
Review of the First Edition:

Simply to chronicle the highly complicated sequence of events in the ethnic borderlands of Russia during the tumultuous years between 1917 and 1923 is a difficult problem by itself. Richard Pipes has not only accomplished this task...but he has given this complex story meaning and perspective.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674309517
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/25/1997
  • Series: Russian Research Center Studies Series, #13
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Pipes is Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of History, Emeritus, Harvard University.
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Table of Contents

1. The National Problem in Russia

The Russian Empire on the Eve of the 1917 Revolution

National Movements in Russia

The Ukrainians and Belorussians. The Turkic Peoples. The Peoples of the Caucasus.

Socialism and the National Problem in Western and Central Europe

Russian Political Parties and the National Problem

Lenin and the National Question before 1913

Lenin's Theory of Self-Determination

2. 1917 and The Disintegration of the Russian Empire

The General Causes

The Ukraine and Belorussia

The Rise of the Ukrainian Central Rada (February-June 1917). From July to the

October Revolution in the Ukraine. Belorussia in 1917.

The Moslem Borderlands

The All-Russian Moslem Movement. The Crimea in 1917. Bashkiriia and the

Kazakh-Kirghiz Steppe. Turkestan and the Autonomous Government of Kokand.

The Caucasus

The Terek Region and Daghestan. Transcaucasia.

The Bolsheviks in Power

3. Soviet Conquest of the Ukraine and Belorussia

The Fall of the Ukrainian Central Rada

The Communist Party of the Ukraine: Its Formation and Early Activity (1918)

The Struggle of the Communists for Power in the Ukraine in 1919

Belorussia from 1918 to 1920

4. Soviet Conquest of the Moslem Borderlands

The Moslem Communist Movement in Soviet Russia (1918)

The Bashkir and Tatar Republics

The Kirghiz Republic


The Crimea

5. Soviet Conquest of the Caucasus

The Transcaucaslan Federation

Soviet Rule in the North Caucasus and Eastern Transcaucasia (1918)

The Terek Region. Baku.

The Independent Republics (1918-19)

Azerbaijan. Armenia. Georgia.

The Prelude to the Conquest

The Conquest

The Fall of Azerbaijan. The Fall of Armenia. The Fall of Georgia.

6. The Establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The Consolidation of the Party and State Apparatus

The RSPSR. Relations between the RSFSR and the other Soviet Republics. The

People's Republics.

The Opposition to Centralization

Nationalist Opposition:

Enver Pasha and the Basmachis. Nationalist-Communist Opposition: Sultan-Galiev.

Communist Opposition: the Ukraine. Communist Opposition: Georgia.

Formulation of Constitutional Principles of the Union


Change of Mind

The Last Discussion of the Nationality Question


Chronology of Principal Events

Ethnic Distribution of Population, 1897 and 1926

The System of Transliteration




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