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History's Locomotives: Revolutions and the Making of the Modern World [Paperback]

Martin Malia

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Book Description

22 Feb 2008
This book is a comparative history devoted to the revolutionary tradition in the West as it evolved over many centuries and reached its logical, though extreme, culmination in the Communist revolutions of the twentieth century. Unique in the breadth of its scope, "History's Locomotives" is also unique in its interpretation of the origins and history of socialism as well as the meanings of the Russian Revolution, the rise of the Soviet regime, and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. The masterwork of a historian in whom a fine sense of historical particularity never interfered with the ability to see the large picture, this book explores religious conflicts in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, the revolutions in England, American, and France, and the twentieth-century Russian explosions into revolution. Malia finds that twentieth-century revolutions have deep roots in European history and that revolutionary thought and action underwent a process of radicalization from one great revolution to the next. He offers an original view of the phenomenon of revolution and a fascinating assessment of its power as a driving force in history.

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History's Locomotives: Revolutions and the Making of the Modern World + The Age Of Revolution: 1789-1848: Europe, 1789-1848 + Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History
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Review

"'A magisterial, valedictory work.' David Gress, Wall Street Journal"

About the Author

The late Martin Malia was respected as one of the great historians of Russia. He was the author of many books, among them Russia under Western Eyes: From the Bronze Horseman to the Lenin Mausoleum and The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-1991, and he taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1958-1991. Terence Emmons is professor of history, emeritus, Stanford University.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Red October 21 Jan 2007
By Christian Schlect - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Professor Malia, now deceased, wrote this very intelligent study of the links between various European revolutions, ending with the Soviet explosion in Russia. He argues that history has seen the last of these type of earth shaking upheavals against Old Regimes. His conclusion is that Marxism was a system doomed to failure from the start due to its unobtainable objective. Sadly, much blood has been shed proving this point.

I especially enjoyed the book's crisp description of English politics of the 1600s. I now have a much better understanding of the string of events that led to that realm's Glorious Revolution.

Martin Malia was a great historian. In his honor, this book deserves a wide readership of all those interested in the underpinnings of the modern political history of Europe and the United States.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From feudalism to socialism and communist utopia 29 Jan 2007
By John B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A serious, informative, almost scholarly exposition of major revolutions from the 15th trough the 20th century. It examines events and ideas that transformed us from subjects of feudal lords to relatively free citizens of today's western democracies. I'd give it 5 stars for content but, not being a historian, I find the writing sometimes difficult to follow. A glossary of terms would have been very helpful (e.g. when mentioning Jacobins, a brief statement of their ideology, role or agenda would go a long way to make the book more readable.)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The main western world revolutions 18 Jan 2007
By J. Serrano Martinez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The word "revolution" implies radical change. In this book that term is the basis for the analysis of important social and political events in the western world since the middle age to the Russian 1917 revolution. In some way there is continuity in those events: the past is the basis of the future. In this book that link is an important part of the analysis.
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