The Russian Revolution dismantled the ancient Tsarist autocracy and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II and the old regime was replaced in February 1917. In the second revolution that October, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a Bolshevik (Communist) government.
The Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, appointed themselves as leaders and seized control of the countryside, establishing the Cheka to quash dissent. To end Russia's participation in the First World War, the Bolshevik leaders signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918.
Civil war erupted among the `Reds' (Bolsheviks), the `Whites' (anti-socialist factions), and non-Bolshevik socialists. It continued for several years, during which the Bolsheviks defeated both the Whites and all rival socialists. In this way, the Revolution paved the way for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922.
In this book Alan Moorehead gives a brilliant account of these formative events. This not only remains the most readable account of the revolution, but sheds fascinating light on the Western view of the Soviet Union at the time of writing during the Cold War.
Alan McCrae Moorehead AO OBE (22 July 1910 - 29 September 1983) was a war correspondent and bestselling historian, most notably of two books on the nineteenth-century exploration of the Nile, The White Nile (1960) and The Blue Nile (1962). Australian-born, he lived in England, and Italy, from 1937. He became a renowned foreign correspondent for the London Daily Express. Writer, world traveller, biographer, essayist, journalist, Moorehead was one of the most successful writers in English of his day. According to the critic Clive James, 'His copy was world-famous ... he was a far better reporter on combat than his friend Ernest Hemingway.'