Cover image for The Russian Revolution, 1917
The Russian Revolution, 1917
Wade, Rex A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xvii, 337 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.

Format :


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DK265 .W24 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Rex Wade here presents a new history of one of the pivotal events of modern history, combining his own long study of the revolution with the best of contemporary scholarship. Within an overall narrative that seeks to provide a clear account of the revolution, several new approaches are introduced: the political history of the revolution is recast and the complexity of the October Revolution is stressed. Wade clears away many of the myths and misconceptions that have clouded studies of the period. At the same time he gives due space to the social history of the revolution and incorporates people and places all too often left out of the story, including women, national minority peoples, and peasantry front soldiers, enabling a richer and more complete history to emerge. The story is narrated with pace, verve, and exceptional clarity; the chronology, maps and illustrations give further support to the reader.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this history of the Russian Revolution, the author summarizes recent scholarship, stresses the explosion of the lower classes or nizy against the small contingent of prosperous and privileged upper classes or verkhi and, additionally, gives much attention to the national and social issues that precipitated the unraveling of the social and political fabric in 1917. The peasants decided they would not be denied the land they had always coveted and both workers and peasants overrode individual rights in the name of communal rights. Popular radicalism grew during 1917 and nourished the popularity of the leftist coalition that included the Bolsheviks. The author abjures the traditional emphasis on Lenin's machinations. He argues that the Bolsheviks rode the wave of radicalism and fears of counterrevolution. Despite the author's contention that Bolshevik dominance of democratic and socialist uprising was a historical accident, the reader may doubt the allegiance of even non-Bolshevik socialists to a representative parliamentary regime that protected individual rights. A Bolshevik dictatorship was probably no accident. Nevertheless, the book offers a convenient and reliable guide to the Revolution for the student and the informed reader. All collections. D. Balmuth; emeritus, Skidmore College

Table of Contents

List of platesp. vi
List of mapsp. viii
Prefacep. ix
Preface to the second editionp. xiv
Chronologyp. xv
1 The coming of the revolutionp. 1
2 The February Revolutionp. 29
3 Political realignment and the new political systemp. 53
4 The aspirations of Russian societyp. 88
5 The peasants and the purposes of revolutionp. 129
6 The nationalities: identity and opportunityp. 146
7 The summer of discontentsp. 172
8 "All Power to the Soviets"p. 208
9 The Bolsheviks take powerp. 235
10 The Constituent Assembly and the purposes of powerp. 258
11 Conclusionsp. 287