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′When did the Russian Revolution go wrong and why? Whether oneshares Samuel Farber′s views or not, his is an important, at oncethoughtful and passionate contribution to one of the major debatesof our time.′ Daniel Singer
′An honest and searching attempt to identify the roots ofStalinism in the pre–Stalin period. It can be recommended as apainstaking and scrupulous assessment, animated by a commitment tosocialist democracy.′ New Left Review
′The author surveys comprehensively the ′moments of choice′between the Bolshevick Revolution and the death of Lenin.′Labour History Review
′Farber has done much to enrich our understanding of thetradition which was never reducible just to Lenin.′Socialist
While attempting to synthesize a wealth of historical materials,Farber also assesses the extent to which the disappearance ofSoviet democracy was due to objective circumstances, for example,the impact of the Civil War, and the extent to which it was theresult of Bolshevik politics and ideology. In this context, theauthor shows how there were, contrary to later Stalinist and ColdWar mythologies, considerable and significant disputes within thepre–Stalinist Bolshevik camp on matters relevant to thepreservation of the substantial democratic elements of the Octoberupheaval.
As the processes of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Unionfind a response from below in a movement for democracy that may notbe willing to respect the limits of Gorbachev′s programme, Farber′swork acquires a timely quality for those who, inside or outside theSoviet Union, are searching for a usable past in which to root thenew Soviet Spring.
In presenting data known only to specialists to a larger publicion an original, novel and accessible interpretative framework,Farber adds an important new dimension to our thinking about theRussian Revolution and the origins of the Soviet state.