Russian Revolution 1917 - further reading guide

Women in the Russian revolution

Libcom's guide to further reading around the subject of the Russian revolution and counter-revolution of 1917 to 1921.

The Russian Revolution and Civil War, 1917-21 (WARNING: No work takes a more ideological and manufactured quality than histories of the Russian Revolution. Among the academics, Rosenberg, McAuley, Rabinowitch, Malle, Smith, Carr and Rigby have significant sympathies with the Bolsheviks; Medvedev, Fitzpatrick, Sirianni, Avrich, Sakwa, Remington, Aves, Lincoln, and Service are more critical, while Leggett, Figes and Shkliarevsky are openly right-wing. This is just a rough ideological guide for the unwary.)

10 Days That Shook the World - Reed
Year One of the Russian Revolution - Serge
History of the Russian Revolution - Trotsky
*The Unknown Revolution : 1917-1921 - Voline
*The Russian Revolution – Luxemburg
*Kronstadt 1917-1921 : The Fate of a Soviet Democracy - Israel Getzler
Forced Labour and Economic Development - S. Swianiewicz's
*Utopia in Power: The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Present - Mikhail Heller/Aleksandr Nekrich
Lessons of October - Trotsky
The Russian Revolution, 1917-1921 - R. Kowalski
The Bolshevik Party in Conflict: The Left Communist Opposition of 1918 - R. Kowalski
The Russian Revolution - Marcel Liebman
Leninism Under Lenin – M. Liebman
The ABC's of Communism - Bukharin/Preobrazhensky
All Volumes for 1917 in Lenin's Collected Works
*The Petrograd Workers and The Fall of The Old Regime - D. Mandel
*The Petrograd Workers and The Soviet Seizure of Power - D. Mandel
*The Bolshevik Revolution, Vol. 1-3 - E.H. Carr
*The Workers Revolution in Russia - S. Smith
Red Petrograd: Revolution in The Factories, 1917-18 - S. Smith
The February Revolution: Petrograd, 1917 – T. Hasegawa
The Workers’ Revolution in Russia in 1917 – Kaiser, Ed.
Moscow Workers and the 1917 Revolution – D. Koenker
The Bolsheviks Come To Power - Rabinowich
Kronstadt and Petrograd - Raskolnikov
Lenin, 3 Vols. - T. Cliff
The Bolsheviks and the October Revolution: Minutes of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (Bolsheviks), August 1917-February 1918 – A. Bonn, Ed.
Red Guards and Workers’ Militias in the Russian Revolution – R. Wade
Class Struggles in the USSR, 1917-1923 - Bettelheim
Red Victory - Lincoln
The Red Army - Wollenberg
The Bolsheviks in Power - Ilyin-Zhenevsky
Lenin's Moscow - Rosmer
Leninism Under Lenin - Marcel Liebman
The Russian Anarchists - Avrich
The Anarchism of Nestor Makhno - M. Palij
Nestor Makhno in the Russian Civil War - M. Malet
Civil War in Russia – D. Footman
Liberty Under the Soviets – R. Baldwin
The Bolshevik Revolution - R. Medvedev
Workers' Control and Socialist Democracy: The Soviet Experience - C. Sirianni
Economic and Industrial Democracy - Sirianni
Building Socialism in Soviet Russia - T. Remington
Party, State and Society in the Russian Civil War - Koenker
Labour in the Russian Revolution - G. Shkliarevsky
Lenin: A Political Life, 3 Vols. - R. Service
The Economic Organisation of War Communism - Malle
Bread and Justice; State and Society in Petrograd 1917-22 - M. McAuley
The Russian Revolution - R. Pipes
Resolutions and Decisions of the CPSU - R. McNeal
The Bolshevik Party in Conflict - R. Kowalski
Lenin's Government - T. Rigby
The Birth of the Propaganda State - P. Kenez
Red Guards and Workers' Militia - R. Wade
The Mensheviks after October - V. Brovkin
Behind the Front Lines of the Civil War - V. Brovkin
Soviet Communists in Power, a Study of Moscow - R. Sakwa
Bolshevik Festivals - J. Von Gelderen
Peasant Russia, Civil War - O. Figes
State within a State - E. Albats
The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police - G. Leggett
Bread and Authority in Russia, 1914-21 - Lih
Trotsky Reappraisal - T.Brotherstone
Workers against Lenin - J. Aves
Lenin and the Mensheviks - V. Broido
How the Revolution was Armed - B. Pearce
Our Own People - E. Poretsky
The Origins of the Gulag - M. Jakobson
The Origin of Forced Labour in the Soviet State - J. Bunyan
The Russian Revolution - S. Fitzpatrick
Russia in the Era of the NEP - Fitzpatrick
The Making of the Georgian Nation - G.Suny
Culture and Power in Revolutionary Russia - C. Read
Workers, Soviets - W. Chase
Collected Works - Lenin
The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky - Lenin
Terrorism and Communism - Trotsky
Social Democracy and the Wars of Intervention, 1918-1921 - Trotsky
Military Writings (5 Vols.) - Trotsky
Military Writings - Trotsky
Kronstadt - Lenin/Trotsky
Before Stalinism - Farber

Counter-revolution from Within
*The Bolsheviks and Workers Control - M. Brinton
*The Experience of the Factory Committees in the Russian Revolution - Jones
From Lenin to Stalin - Serge
The New Course - Trotsky
Revolution Betrayed - Trotsky
*State Capitalism and World Revolution – James
*The Marxist-Humanist Theory of State Capitalism - Dunayevskaya
The Workers' State, Thermidor, and Bonapartism - Trotsky's Writings, 1934-35
In Defense of Marxism - Trotsky
The Interregnum - E.H. Carr
Socialism in One Country, Vol. 1, 2, 3a, & 3b - E.H. Carr
Lenin: All Volumes from 1922-23 (Collected Works)
Lenin's Last Struggle – Lewin
Twenty Years After - Serge
The Third International After Lenin - Trotsky
Memoirs of A Revolutionary - Serge
Selected Writings on The Opposition in The USSR - Christian Rakovsky
Challenge of the Left Opposition, Vol. 1-3 - Trotsky
Documents of The 1923 Opposition
Platform of the Joint Opposition, 1927
Stalin School of Falsification - Trotsky
The Case of Leon Trotsky
Soviet Russia Masters The Comintern - Gruber
Foundations of a Planned Economy, Vol. 1-2 - E.H. Carr
Twilight of The Comintern - E.H. Carr
Class Struggles in The USSR, Vol. 1 & 2 - Bettelheim
Russian Peasants and Soviet Power - Lewin
Workers, Society and the Soviet State - W. J. Chase
Lenin, Vol. 4 - T. Cliff
Stalin - Trotsky
Stalin - Deutscher
The Time of Stalin - Antonov-Ovsyenko
The Fate of The Russian Revolution: Lost Texts of Critical Marxism, Vol. 1 – Matgamna, Ed.
State Capitalism in Russia - Tony Cliff
The Bureaucratic Revolution - Max Shactman

adapted from Chris Wright's Revolutionary reading guide

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Oct 22 2008 16:11

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Jan 11 2010 07:24

What do the stars denote? I don't remember seeing them on other reading lists...

mikail firtinaci
Jan 11 2010 08:22

I think I have this;

The Bolshevik Party in Conflict: The Left Communist Opposition of 1918 - R. Kowalski

from a 1980's english journal. But I may have lost the first pages. If I can find it I can add it to the Libcom archive by scanning it. It was concentrated on how left communists while being numerically in the majority lost the party struggle... Of course if it is the right article I remember

Jan 11 2010 10:08

Mikail, if you could scan it that would be great!

tarwater, the stars indicate recommended texts in particular. We need to make this clearer somewhere in the guide, I was thinking about a way to do this soon

Red Marriott
Jan 11 2010 22:35
mikael wrote:
I may have lost the first pages. If I can find it I can add it to the Libcom archive by scanning it.

If you don't have it complete but know the original publication details someone else may be able to access it through an existing college or workplace online subscription to the journal.
The library already has;

mikail firtinaci
Jan 11 2010 22:46

No that is not it. The article I refer to is an article about the 1918 communist left in Russia - probably by Kowalski. I will try to check for it tomorrow. I am going to move soon so everything is in boxes - that is the problem sad

Red Marriott
Jan 11 2010 22:54

I wasn't thinking that might be the article - just referring to it as on the same topic.

mikail firtinaci
Jan 15 2010 16:43

I found a review of Kowalski in the russian review

Kowalski, Ronald I. The Bolshevik Party in Conflict: The Left Communist Opposition of 1918. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991. x + 244 pp. $34.95. One of Lenin's many challenges immediately following the October Revolution was the vehement and open opposition by leading figures within his own party to a number of his most important policies. Led by luminaries such as Bukharin and Radek, the Left Commu- nists were a loosely structured group who vigorously protested what they saw as Lenin's abandonment, on the altar of expediency, of socialist principles he had advocated only months earlier. The most important issue was the Left Communists' opposition to a separate peace with Germany, and their advocacy of continuing a "revolutionary war" which they thought would help spark proletarian revolution in Germany and elsewhere. In January and most of February 1918 they had the support of a majority of party members on this issue, although Lenin (just barely) won the debate at the top. They also attacked Lenin in other areas, including his willingness to parcel out land to the peasants, his call for one-man management at the expense of workers' control in industry, his utilization of former officials in the new state bureaucracy, and the eclipse of the autonomy of local soviets. But Lenin generally prevailed, and after the implementation of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, the Left Communists lost much of their grass-roots support. By midsummer the group had disinte- grated. Surprisingly, its former members were to follow very different routes in the 1920s and 1930s, some finding themselves in the so-called "Left Opposition," others in the "Right Opposition," still others becoming pillars of Stalinist orthodoxy. The Left Communist episode raises a number of interesting historical and political questions. Did the program of the Left Communists provide a blueprint for a truly demo- cratic socialist society that, if only implemented, would have prevented the abuses of Lenin- ist and Stalinist Russia? Was their program excellent in theory but doomed to fail owing to the recalcitrant political, social, and economic realities of Russia at the time? Or were the Left Communists emotional and irrational idealists, refusing to face the reality of their hopeless situation? The correct answer is "none of the above," according to Ronald I. Kowalski in this detailed study of Left Communist thought and action. True, they were intensely devoted to their cause and defended their positions with passion. But the author argues that their positions were determined more by cold calculation and logical extensions of long-held theoretical positions than by the passions or emotions of the moment. True, Russian condi- tions of the time were highly unfavorable to their cause. But Kowalski, who is intensely sympathetic to the Left Communists, nonetheless concludes, very reluctantly, that their program itself was fatally flawed. Their adherence to central economic planning and large- scale collectivized farming was inherently incompatible, he argues, with their belief in local economic and political autonomy. Even in the most ideal of circumstances, therefore, their program would have led, no less than Lenin's, to authoritarianism and coercion rather than to democracy and freedom. The author may exaggerate the extent to which his ultimate findings conflict with those
Book Reviews 441 found in the standard Western works that touch on the subject. His exclusive focus on doctrine and policy is somewhat narrow, and some readers may take exception to his linger- ing quasi-Marxism. Nonetheless, because the topic is important and because the book is well written, excellently organized, and tightly argued, The Bolshevik Party in Conflict is both a pleasure to read and a useful contribution to the field.

The article I have is definitely not that but probably a shorter article on the same topic by Kowalski.

Anti War
Jan 18 2016 14:39

'From Tsar to Lenin'
- classic documentary on the Russian Revolution narrated by Max Eastman.

This documentary is now on Youtube HERE. It could have had more on the involvement of women, workers and peasants in 1917 - and could have been more critical of the Bolsheviks. But it still contains some of the most amazing footage from the period.

Dec 21 2016 15:06

One of the great puzzles of the February revolution is why, having initiated the revolution, working-class women were then unable to maintain this level of organisation in the upheavals of 1917. Bobroff-Hajal's well-researched book is, so far, the most in-depth attempt to understand the roots of this mystery. She vividly discusses women's roles in food riots, street fighting and political activism, as well as in courtship and wedding rituals. She concludes that traditional male-dominated culture tied working-class and peasant women to the nuclear family rather than to each other.

Working Women in Russia under the Hunger Tsars: political activism and daily life, by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

Chapters 1 to 7, Anne Bobroff-Hajal, 'Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars'

Chapters 8 to 12, Anne Bobroff-Hajal, 'Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars'

Chapters 12 to 14, Anne Bobroff-Hajal, 'Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars'

Mar 17 2017 02:05
'From Tsar to Lenin'
- classic documentary on the Russian Revolution narrated by Max Eastman.

I just clicked on the youtube link and it's been removed because of the copyright is held by the Socialist Equality Party. Fucking trots! tongue

Mar 17 2017 09:36
Fleur wrote:
'From Tsar to Lenin'
- classic documentary on the Russian Revolution narrated by Max Eastman.

I just clicked on the youtube link and it's been removed because of the copyright is held by the Socialist Equality Party. Fucking trots! tongue

a couple of years ago, they threatened another Trotskyist group with a copyright lawsuit after the latter announced a public screaning of the movie:

Serge Forward
Jul 25 2017 10:34

How come the main picture for this article is what looks like a UGT demo?