The Russian Revolution may well be the most misunderstood event in modern history. In this fast-paced introduction, Neil Faulkner debunks the myths that continue to shroud it, showing how a mass movement of millions, organised in democratic assemblies, mobilised for militant action and destroyed a regime of landlords, profiteers and warmongers.
Faulkner rejects caricatures of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as authoritarian conspirators, 'democratic-centralists' or the progenitors of Stalinist dictatorship; though short-lived, the Revolution of October 1917 was an explosion of democracy and creativity. Crushed by bloody counter-revolution, its socialist vision was ultimately displaced by a monstrous form of bureaucratic state-capitalism.
Laced with first-hand testimony, this history rescues the democratic essence of the revolution from its detractors and deniers, offering a perfect primer for the modern reader.
Published in partnership with the Left Book Club.
Neil Faulkner is a historian and archaeologist. He is the author of numerous books, including A Radical History of the World (Pluto, 2018), A People's History of the Russian Revolution (Pluto, 2017) and Lawrence of Arabia's War (Yale, 2016).
Introduction Part 1: The Spark, 1825-1916 1. The Regime 2. The Revolutionaries 3. Lenin and the Bolsheviks 4. The Great War Part 2: The Tempest, 1917 5. The February Revolution 6. Dual Power 7. Counter-Revolution 8. The October Days Part 3: The Darkness, 1918-1938 9. World Revolution? 10. The Revolution Besieged 11. Stalinism Epilogue: A Century of War and Revolution Timeline Notes Bibliography Index