The Russian Revolution

Richard Pipes, Author Knopf Publishing Group $40 (944p) ISBN 978-0-394-50241-0
With erudition lightly worn, Harvard historian Pipes, in this massive, wonderfully vivid, gripping chronicle, stresses the role of liberals both in the Russian revolution of 1905, for which the Communists later claimed credit, and in the upheavals of 1917. He attributes the failure of the February 1917 revolution to Alexander Kerensky's rash actions, his doctrinaire vision of democracy and his dissolution of the police and the provincial bureaucracy, which plunged the nation into anarchy. He argues persuasively that the Bolsheviks' October 1917 putsch was not a true revolution, but a classic coup d'etat. His portrayal of the backward Russian peasantry, scarcely touched by westernization, and of the intelligentsia, ``self-appointed spokesman'' for over nine-tenths of the populace, lays the groundwork for his discerning analysis of how Lenin built a one-party dictatorship. No other book so brilliantly clarifies the inner dynamics of the Russian Revolution. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Paperback - 976 pages - 978-0-679-73660-8
Open Ebook - 864 pages - 978-0-307-78857-3
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