A lively account of the stormy events leading to the October 1917 Russian Revolution, this book is a compelling read both for those with a developed knowledge of Russian history and those new to the subject. This work, prequel to Rabinowitch’s The Bolsheviks in Power, is a comprehensive and serious examination of the political struggles within the Bolshevik Party in the period leading up to the revolution of October 1917. The author draws on a wealth of primary sources and archival material to demonstrate how and why the Bolsheviks won the overwhelming support of the working class in St. Petersburg. His analysis counters the claims by mainstream historians that the revolution was a military coup led by Lenin and a small band of fanatics. Rather, he points to the Bolshevik’s extensive connections to factory workers as well as soldiers and sailors and the party’s flexibility and openness to popular aspirations. Rabinowitch discusses the divisions that existed between the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks, as well those within the Bolshevik Party itself. He explains the ebbs and flows of the revolutionary period, tracing the moods of the working class and the political positions of the Bolsheviks at different historical moments, including the immediate aftermath of the February Revolution, the July Days, the Kornilov affair, and up to and including the October Revolution itself.
The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd
A lively account of the stormy events leading to the October 1917 Russian Revolution, this book is a compelling read both for those with a developed knowledge of Russian history and those new to the subject.
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Alexander Rabinowitch is a Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University. He has written extensively on early Soviet history. His book, The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, was the second work ever written by a Western historian to be published in the Soviet Union. Over the course of four decades, he has authored and co-authored many other books and articles including: Prelude to Revolution, The Petrograd Bolsheviks and the July 1917 Uprising; Russia in the era of the NEP; and Politics and Society in Petrograd, 1917-1920: The Bolsheviks, the Lower Classes, and Soviet Power, Petrograd, February 1917 – July 1918.