Academic journal article Independent Review

The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Academic journal article Independent Review

The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Article excerpt

Growing up in suburban Washington, D.C., I learned that my neighbors and I were living with a target on our backs--that the nation's capital was the bull's-eye for enough Soviet missiles to end everything in an instant. I had the sense that the Iron Curtain was permanent and that once a nation was wrapped in the tentacles of communism, escape was virtually out of the question. Like so many others, I was floored by the swift collapse of communism in the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s and early 1990s (and equally surprised by China's rapid turn toward markets). Now communism lurks and lingers in only a few odd places.

The fall of 2017 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the event that put the Communists in power--the October Revolution of the Bolsheviks in Russia. This event shaped the twentieth century like few others. Mercifully, the Soviet Union has come and gone. Why did the Bolsheviks gain control of Russia? How did communism affect Russia's long-run economic development? …

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