Twentieth Century Russia

Twentieth Century Russia

Twentieth Century Russia

Twentieth Century Russia

Synopsis

Donald W. Treadgold was professor of Russian history in the history department and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies of the University of Washington.

Excerpt

It was a great honor to be asked to prepare the ninth edition of Donald Treadgold's Twentieth Century Russia, for four decades a standard text in Russian history. One of the foremost historians of his time, Professor Treadgold wrote books on the Russian revolutionary movement, Russian peasant migration, the impact of the West on Russia and China, and the history of Christianity, as well as an imposing list of edited books, articles, and reviews. Moreover, in his long tenure as editor of the Slavic Review he made that journal a powerful influence on American scholarship on Russia and Eastern Europe. His studies at Harvard and (as a Rhodes Scholar) at Oxford, under such luminaries as Michael Karpovich, B. H. Sumner, and Isaiah Berlin, launched a brilliant career as scholar, teacher, and builder and mentor of the institutions of Russian studies.

Twentieth Century Russia was first published in 1959. Responding to continued demand, Treadgold provided seven revised editions over the succeeding thirty-five year's. Several features of the book help to explain its wide acceptance. It provides a solid background on the politics, economy, and culture of the late Imperial period, including the story of the revolutionary movement whose most radical wing, Lenin's Bolshevism, was poised to seize power when the monarchy collapsed in 1917. The reader discovers the glories and the failures of that era and learns that Russia's economic, social, and cultural institutions were modernizing rapidly before the disaster of World War I.

The book also provides a masterful presentation of the seventy-four years of Communist rule. The first half of that period included: the four years of political and military struggle (1917-1921) that consolidated Communist control; the struggle among the Communist leaders during the 1920s from which Stalin emerged victorious in 1928; an exceedingly brutal revolution that transformed all of Russia's economic, political, and cultural institutions as well as the social classes and the nations that comprised the Soviet federation; and a revolutionary foreign policy that organized and dominated the world Communist movement and supported its huge expansion in the European and Asian Communist revolutions of the postwar era, a period when Stalin revived political purges to reconsolidate his system of power.

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