Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A Pelican Introduction

Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A Pelican Introduction

Orlando Figes

Language: English

Pages: 0

ISBN: 0141043679

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


What caused the russian revolution?did it succeed or fail?do we still live with its consequences?orlando figes teaches history at birkbeck, university of london and is the author of many acclaimed books on russian history, including a people's tragedy, which the times literary supplement named as one of the '100 most influential books since the war', natasha's dance, the whisperers, crimea and just send me word. The financial times called him 'the greatest storyteller of modern russian historians. '

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CHAPTER 15 War and Revolution CHAPTER 16 Revolution and Cold War CHAPTER 17 The Beginning of the End CHAPTER 18 Mature Socialism CHAPTER 19 The Last Bolshevik CHAPTER 20 Judgement REFERENCES A SHORT GUIDE TO FURTHER READING ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FOLLOW PENGUIN Introduction My aim is to provide a brief account of the Russian Revolution in the longue durée, to chart one hundred years of history as a single revolutionary cycle. In this telling the revolution starts in the nineteenth

policies in the newly annexed territories of western Ukraine, the Baltic region and East Germany. In the spring of 1953, Beria imposed a series of reforms on the East German leadership. The Communist hardliners in the GDR dragged their heels over implementing them, resulting in mass demonstrations on the streets of East Berlin in mid-June. Back in Moscow, Beria was blamed for the uprising by Khrushchev, Molotov and even Malenkov. On 26 June, he was arrested in a Kremlin coup organized by

which had been drawn in the early 1930s from the cult of Pavlik Morozov – a fifteen-year-old boy from a Urals village who had denounced his father as a ‘kulak’ to the Soviet police. In the first stages of his propaganda cult, Pavlik was promoted as a model Pioneer because he had placed his loyalty to the revolution higher than his family. Soviet children were encouraged to denounce their elders, teachers, even parents, if they appeared anti-Soviet. But as the regime strengthened parent power, the

that it is best understood as a number of related but separate waves of terror, each one capable of being explained on its own but not as part of a single phenomenon. There was certainly a complex amalgam of different elements that made up the Great Terror: the purging of the Party, the great ‘show trials’, the mass arrests in the cities, the ‘kulak operation’ and ‘national operations’ against minorities. But while it may be helpful to analyse these various components separately, the fact remains

as possible. On 7 September, he told his inner circle that they would wait for the Western Allies and Nazi Germany to exhaust themselves in a long war that would undermine the capitalist system before they stepped in to ‘tip the scales’ and emerge as the victors. ‘We have no objection to their having a good fight, weakening each other,’ he said on the outbreak of the war.7 On Stalin’s orders the Comintern instructed Communists to use the war to organize unrest inside their countries, as the

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