The Bolsheviks were painfully aware of the fact that their regime lay at the mercy of a largely hostile peasantry. I love that description because it fits him so well…at least to a point. First, he wrote reviews for Amazon. Trump needed the white disaffected voters in the middle of this country so he told them what they wanted to hear. The Russian Revolution does not lend itself to definitive writing:
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Eric Hobsbawm reviews ‘A People’s Tragedy’ by Orlando Figes · LRB 31 October
What began as privileged guilt in Russia tragsdy the Revolution resulted in disaster. The great revolutions of the modern world never cease to be controversial, inside or outside their countries, as the th anniversary of the French Revolution recently demonstrated. It kept me on the edge of my toes for eleven long days of reading the book.
It is the finest single volume history of the Russian Revolutions ofwith a substantial excursus on the Old Regime and the aftermath of the October Revolution, including the Civil War, the Famine until the death of Lenin and the advent of Stalin.
The misery and cruelty of the Russian peasants is also narrated with skill, and one can feel how painfully and rapidly the idealism of the early revolutionaries gave way to chaos and disaster as the tragery of a Communist revolution was conflated with a savage and enraged desire for anarchy. The war may initially have postponed such a revolution, but thereafter accelerated it.
It is also the work of an author determined to present as full and true a picture as possible of what happened in Russia during those terrible years, a picture as free from bias and ideological distortion as he can draw.
A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924
View all 4 comments. The Russian revolution, of course, was not just an amorphous w revolt, but was shaped by a handful of powerful leaders on both sides, such as Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra, General Brusilov on the European Front, Lenin, Trotsky, the intellectual Social Revolutionary Chernov,the Menshevik opposition leader Martov, and many others.
They kept the Marxist Hegelian dogma of the need for Russia to go through capitalism and parliamentary democracy. A masterful writer on a fascinating topic. The armature of his arguments is completely obscured by the excess of trivia he has slathered onto it.
In this very impressive piece of history-writing Figes has tried to make us understand it by re-creating, but also explaining, the experience of Russia from the famine ofwhich he regards as the effective beginning of the final crisis of tsarism, to the death of Figse. The Short 20th Century and a memoir, Interesting Times.
Yet, hard as it is, everyone who possibly can — every adult who possibly can — should tragesy this book. Some of the book seems to be directed at the general reader, and explains matters that anyone remotely familiar with this territory would know; in other places, he indulges in the most arcane arguments, settling picayune details by quoting pages of obscure statistics and wordy official edicts. Feb 18, Stefan rated it it was amazing.
Byif not earlier, the revolution had come full circle, and a new autocracy had been orlanfo on Russia which in many ways resembled the old one. One thing I did not like was the teaser thrown in at the end, that Kirov was plotting against Stalin at the time of his assassination. Although Russians today especially those on the Right like to see themselves as "victims" of Bolshevism, it is an undeniable fact that Bolshevism was an authentic product of the unique situation that Russia found itself in at the time.
A People’s Tragedy
Tsar Nicholas was the author of his own downfall. Although he does recognize that Russia's backwardness had much to do with the rise of Lenin's autocracy, he does not see it as inherent in the Russian people.
Our continued involvement making war and social engineering in countries pfoples don't want us and whom we do not understand is a never-ending disaster. Figes gives a detailed examination of the intellectual currents that gave rise to the Communist movement, as well as their actions once they attained power.
After a century dominated by the twin totalitarianisms of Communism and Fascism, one can only hope that this lesson has been learned.
When the Tsar's regime fell, the peasant communes spontaneously seized the noble lands. It is figss horrifying picture made worse, of course, under the rule of Stalin. I found the treatment of the Bolsheviks to be relatively sympathetic, and the book does not suffer traegdy of it. View all 42 comments.
This gives a distinctive personal feeling where history is populated by real people and provides us with a ground view of the pfoples events of Russia. In the beginning the Bolsheviks had scant support but they did have discipline, ruthlessness and a cause.
The tortured, terrified and oppressed became the torturers, terrorists and oppressors.
Hat off to Mr. Com under an assumed name Birkbeck in which he excoriated competing traggedy on Russian history, blaming them at first on his wife. Jan 19, Frank Stein rated it really liked it.