The Russian Revolutions of 1917

The Russian Revolutions of 1917

The Russian Revolutions of 1917

The Russian Revolutions of 1917

Excerpt

This volume is intended to meet the needs of the student of modern world history, for whom the standard accounts of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 are too detailed. The aim has been to provide a treatment both compact and comprehensive. With this end in view, it begins with a brief background of the revolutions, starting with the Emancipation of 1861, and sketching in the major unsolved problems of Russia down to 1905. The period of the Duma, from 1905 to 1914, receives special emphasis, as does Russia's experience during the First World War. The revolutionary period is then analyzed in detail, with particular attention to the intense political struggle of 1917 and the economic and social factors that aided the fall of the moderate government and the rise of the Soviet regime. Little has been said about the international aspects of the revolutionary year, except as they affected events within Russia. The aim has been to strip the revolutionary struggle of non-essentials without over-simplifying to the point of inaccuracy.

The readings presented in the second part of the book have been chosen to shed light on aspects of the situation that are only lightly touched on in the body of the text. In particular, the leading actors have been permitted to express themselves in their own words, in hopes that they will lend vividness and clarify the personalities and the outlooks of the protagonists. Contemporary accounts also help to explain the psychology and the actions of the people.

The dates for events before 1917 are given according to the Julian calendar, which since 1900 has been thirteen days behind ours. The dates in 1917 and 1918, however, are given according to the Gregorian calendar. Thus the February revolution, which toppled the Tsar, actually happened in March of 1917, while the revolution of October 25, when the Bolsheviks took power, has its anniversary on November 7. The final date in the book . . .

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