This year there will be an outpouring of writings on the Russian Revolution - many of which will, unfortunately, downplay the role of 'ordinary' peasants and workers.
Here's a place to list readings that tell the real history of the revolution. What would libcommers recommend?
To start us off, here's some writings on the February Revolution - which began on 8 March, International Women's Day, 1917:
Choi Chatterjee, Celebrating Women; Gender, Festival, Culture and Bolshevik Ideology, p43-54.
Temma Kaplan, 'Women and Communal Strikes in the Crisis of 1917-1922'.
Jane McDermid and Anna Hillyar, Midwives of the Revolution, especially p147-157.
Anne Bobroff-Hajal, Working Women in Russia under the Hunger Tsars: political activism and daily life
... Also check out https://socialhistories1917.wordpress.com/ for recordings of recent talks on the revolution.
The unknown revolution,
The unknown revolution, 1917-1921 - Volin
My personal favorites: John
My personal favorites:
John Reed - Ten Days That Shook the World
Alexander Rabinowitch - The Bolsheviks Come to Power
Victor Serge - Memoirs of a Revolutionary (not specifically on 1917, but still a great work)
I don't think we can leave
I don't think we can leave out Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution; disagree with elements of it, but there can be no denying the importance of the work and the exposition on uneven and combined development.
The Russian Enigma - Ante
The Russian Enigma - Ante Ciliga
only available in German and
only available in German and the first volume since a few years in French: Illustrierte Geschichte der russischen Revolution 1917 (1928) and Illustrierte Geschichte des Bürgerkrieges in Russland 1917-1921 (1929) by W. Astrow, A. Slepkow and J. Thomas
Not to blow my own trumpet,
Not to blow my own trumpet, but section H.6 of An Anarchist FAQ is of interest -- it summarises the key events as well as working class protest against the Bolsheviks:
Other parts of section H cover other aspects of the period -- such as workers' control, vanguardism, etc. It quotes lots of books for further reading.
I would also recommend Goldman's My Disillusionment in Russia and Berkman's The Bolshevik Myth (both on "Anarchist Archive") There is also a new collection of their rarer articles available, as reviewed here.
I have also reviewed a fair share of books on the Russian Revolution and these can be found on "Anarchist Writers"
Lenin's State and
Lenin's State and Revolution.
Rabinowich is good.
Lars Lih short Bio of Lenin.
Rex Wade's book is good
John Riddell's Edit on Comintern I've heard to be good. Here's a review: http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/950/comintern-review-not-a-school-of-strategy/
Links (the Australian
Links (the Australian ex-DSP's international webjournal) is currently publishing a series of leaflets from 1917: The View from the Streets: Leaflets of the Russian revolution
any thoughts on john marot's
any thoughts on john marot's book?
Has anyone read this book by
Has anyone read this book by Jonathan Smele?
The ‘Russian’ Civil Wars, 1916-1926: Ten Years That Shook the World
Here are more great readings
Here are more great readings on the Russian revolution. They range from Rabinowitch on the excitement of the July Days to Steve Smith on the factory committees to Rosenberg on the crisis of spring 1918. Chris Read's history is, perhaps, the best short history of the period in that it also emphasises the revolution from below.
Alexander Rabinowitch, Prelude to Revolution.
Steve Smith, Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories.
Chris Read, From Tsar to Soviets: The Russian People and Their Revolution, 1917-21.
William Rosenberg, 'Russian Labour and Bolshevik Power after October'.
Anyone doing extensive
Anyone doing extensive reading on the revolution should definitely read Victor Serge's Conquered City.
Its fictional but its based on his actual experiences in Petrograd during that time and really helps to cut through the jargon and make sense of all those names, factions and events.
Best academic books on the
Best academic books on the February Revolution:
- Eduard Nikolaevich Burdzalov, "Russia's Second Revolution: The February 1917 Uprising in Petrograd"
- Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, "The February Revolution: Petrograd 1917"
also see ...
His memoirs are selective and self-serving -- and not reliable for much (particularly his attempts to portray himself as some-sort of libertarian critic of Bolshevism in the early 1920s when all the evidence shows him to be a defender of it).
For details see my: Victor Serge: The Worst of the Anarchists
Pennoid wrote: Lenin's State
Rabinowitch is good -- particularly The Bolsheviks in Power: The First Year of Soviet Rule in Petrograd (see my review).
As for Lenin's book, well, may I suggest: H.1.7 Haven't you read Lenin's "State and Revolution"?
Anarcho wrote: Pennoid
Hey, that would be my recommendation aswell.