A History of Soviet Russia

A History of Soviet Russia

A History of Soviet Russia

A History of Soviet Russia

Excerpt

A History of Soviet Russia is intended to be a generally understandable and clearly-organized outline of Russia's history since 1917.

The existing works on this period usually stress the evolution of the Marxist ideology. A number of important general histories emphasize the foreign policy of the Soviet Union or even its foreign trade policies. In some other works, events revolve around the lives of Lenin or Stalin. English and American authors have provided us with excellent decriptions of the Russian Revolution. The already published volumes of more extensive works offer a wealth of valuable material, although at times the official pronouncements of the Party Congresses or the Communist press are followed too religiously, with too much importance attached to ideological and tactical argumentation.

What has so far not been available is a summarized survey of the events of the years 1917-1956, described in chronological order. There was need for a guide book which, without being shallow, did not bog down in a discussion of the problems or neglect the actual events sometimes lost in the rhetoric of Party leaders. What was needed was a work for easy reference for the student, the teacher, the truly concerned.

I have not based my book on theories but on the actual Russian background of the October Revolution -- the revolutionary trends of the 19th and early 20th century. The revolution itself is depicted as the product of the interaction of many factors -- too innumerable to be perceived in their totality by their contemporaries. Lenin's central role must not, of course, be overlooked here. However, any objective observer will also consider all the other revolutionary figures and trends even if they did not finally prevail. The influence of the Mensheviks and of the Social Revolutionaries, which could be felt until 1921, as well as Trotsky's pre-eminent role in the Rev-

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