Cover image for From the Finland station : the graying of revolution in the twentieth century
From the Finland station : the graying of revolution in the twentieth century
Hamerow, Theodore S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
386 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1340 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library D445 .H32 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A dissection of the tragic course of insurrectionary movements in this century. Hamerow (history, U. of Wisconsin) offers both sequel and counterpoint to Edmund Wilson's classic account of the background of the Russian Revolution, To the Finland station. He provides an account of the life cycle of revolutionary upheaval from the first vision of social emancipation to the final reinstitution of hierarchical authority. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Hamerow's command of sources permits a masterful comparison of revolutionary development in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and Vietnam. His thesis confirms the conclusions of earlier scholarship: revolutions begin with a dynamic vision of the future and an ``enormous gulf'' between the theory of that vision and what has been achieved in fact. The author is at his best in documenting the parallels of a common quest for justice through the imposition of oppression and elitism. Some readers will insist the comparisons are uneven and misleading or would critique the author's neglect of differences in time, circumstance, and leadership. Nevertheless, the book stands as an important contribution to a vast literature. Recommended for larger academic and public libraries.-- Zachary Irwin, Behrend Coll., Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Hamerow has synthesized the past generation's work to produce a typology of revolution, using examples from the Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and Vietnamese revolutions. Acknowledging the influence of Crane Brinton, Hamerow gives readers less a fever chart than an atlas of modern revolution, as the erosion of legitimacy, the revolution of rising expectations, the treason of the intellectuals, the betrayal of the united front, and revolution as new religion work themselves out in their familiar way. Hamerow uses sources published in Western languages, so there are more Russian than Vietnamese examples. The clear progression of revolutionary stages should not be surprising. The Bolshevik revolution (with some Maoist additions) was the pattern for the rest. The reader can use the book to understand the recent events in the communist world. Marxist-Leninist states have become anciens regimes, and the revolutionary cycle has begun again. General and undergraduate readers. -M. M. Larew, University of Maryland, College Park

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Chapter 1 The Decline of Established Authorityp. 1
Chapter 2 The Emergence of a Revolutionary Movementp. 36
Chapter 3 The Struggle for Public Opinionp. 67
Chapter 4 The Overthrow of the Old Orderp. 102
Chapter 5 From United Front to Radical Dictatorshipp. 139
Chapter 6 The Revolutionary Faithp. 174
Chapter 7 The Heroic Decade of the New Orderp. 201
Chapter 8 The Institutionalization of Dictatorial Powerp. 237
Chapter 9 The Revival of Social Elitismp. 276
Chapter 10 The Graying of the Revolutionp. 313
Bibliographical Essayp. 354
Notesp. 369
Indexp. 380

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