The Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679736608
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1991
Pages: 976
Sales rank: 552,476
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Richard Pipes was for many years a professor of history at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books and essays on Russia, past and present, including Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime. In 1981–82 he served as President Reagan's National Security Council adviser on Soviet and East European affairs, and he has twice received a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Marlborough, New Hampshire.

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The Russian Revolution 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
haeesh on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Methinks he protests too much about how bad the Bolsheviks were. Of course now we know how truly murderous, but comparing them to the Nazis may be going a bit far, with such comments: "Lenin hated what he perceived to be the "bourgeoisie" with a destructive passion that fully equaled Hitler's hatred of the Jews; nothing short of physical annihilation would satisfy him." (pg 728). Also, at some point the chronology becomes unglued with the later chapters reading more like magazine articles than a cohesive chronology, such as "The Murder of the Imperial Family," so you might want to stop reading around Ch. 14. These criticisms aside this is a masterful account.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I have enormous respect for Professor Pipes, this was not one of his best works.  The writing was stale and dry at times...also the author clearly does not like the Russian Revolution and that, in my view, mires his analysis and judgment which is unmistakably obvious throughout the book.  Historians should at least attempts to be unbias and non-judgmental when weighing the facts and evidence and allowing the reader to decide.  It is however comprehensive and well researched.
hermitage383 More than 1 year ago
This five star review is with serious reservations. If you are very interested in the Russian Revolution, this book is the definitive account. Not only does it demonstrate impeccable scholarship, but has a definite point of view. Pipes clearly does not like Lenin or Bolshevism. Because of his strong opinions, which show through in his writing, the book is more engaging than if he had worried about feigning objectivity. The Russian Revolution was tragic and evil, and set the stage for modern totalitarianism and genocide. Regrettably, too many historians who lean left of center, have white washed Russian Communism because they think it was merely a misguided attempt to stand up for the little guy. Perhaps, they think that there are lessons from Russia that will help us moderate the ill effects of Capitalism as if American capitalism and Russian communism are both in the wrong. They may both be flawed, but Capitalism is wrong like a traffic violation and Communism is wrong like genocide is wrong. It is refreshing to read a historian not afraid to vehemently attack a thing as clearly wrong, a vast crime. And so Pipes is thorough, detailed, with brilliant analysis. He is the big dog when it comes to the Russian Revolution. And he has definite opinions which he is not afraid to voice. No one can claim to be well informed concerning this issue without having read Pipes. So why the serious reservations about 5 stars? To slog through this tome you need to want to be a Russian Revolution expert. It is detailed to the point of tedium. You reach the conclusion with enormous relief as if you have been freed of a burden. The book has no sense of joy; it is dismal, dark even. The book is a triumph of scholarship, but the reader does not feel triumphant. So if you really want a detailed understanding of the cataclysm that left Russia with a single party state led by one of the 20th centuries great monsters, Lenin, the precursor to the worst of the 20th century Hitler, Stalin, Mao, then read this book.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be exceedingly dry. The author relates endless details - facts and figures about Russia during the time in question - but fails to connect them into a cohesive picture until far too late into the book, if at all. He also uses many terms and concepts which he only bothers to explain later on in the book, leaving you scratching your head at the time. I also found the writing to be sterile and devoid of any of the personal reflections or focus on individuals that distinguish great history writing from boring, laundry list style history. Pipes pales in comparison to contemporary historians such as Boorstin and McCullough. There is a great deal of interesting and important information here, but the presentation leaves a great deal to be desired.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Pipes has written here one of the best, most comprehensive works on the Russian Revolution. By the 'Revolution', he means the February 1917 popular uprising, not the Communist coup later that same year. His work highlights the tragedy that befell Russia- the combination of a mindless monarchy, spineless liberals, and power hungry leftists would create for the Russians decades of unprecedented slavery and misery. But at least everyone (except the Party higher ups) was equally poor and oppressed. Highly recommended, but be forewarned, this is not light summer reading.