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The Lost Revolution: Germany 1918 to 1923 [Paperback]

Chris Harman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Bookmarks; 2nd Revised edition edition (13 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1898876223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1898876229
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 703,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

An account of the largely forgotten events of 1918-23 which began to shape Germany

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 14 May 2010
Never have I read such a clear analysis of the steps leading to the overtaking of German society by the plague of fascism.

Harman puts forth his arguments clearly and succinctly, and in language clearly understandable to a lay audience (which I must count myself as part of). He is at pains to make clear that it was the actions of individuals combined with the movement of classes that led to the failure of the attempted German Revolution, and the rise of the Nazis. This is at odds with many other historical accounts, which attempt to pin social history onto the actions of 'Great Men', which I have found hard to swallow in such circumstances, in which hundreds of thousands were directly involved.

While keeping to a broadly Marxist historical perspective, Harman's work is not afraid to challenge convention and othodoxy. This is living history, and should be read, understood and used to avoid the mistakes of the past and build the society of the future.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is the essential synoptic account of the largely forgotten events of 1918-23 in Germany. Harman both explains the events and processes and attempts to draw lessons from this crucial period. The failure of the German Revolution led both to the ultimate rise of the Nazis and to the isolation and degeneration of the Russian Revolution. There is therefore no more crucial period in 20th century history - yet the subject barely appears in most histories.
Written from an unambiguously revolutionary perspective, and concerned to draw lessons for revolutionaries today, Harman still provides an accessible and exciting account ot tumultuous events. His central conclusion is that the Revolution failed because no organisation independent of the Social Democratic Party existed when the revolt began.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential history 25 May 2013
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The German Revolution is largely forgotten. But Chris Harman is correct - it was the hinge point of the twentieth century upon which the fate of humanity swung.

The German Revolution was lost and because it was lost other political forces filled the space vacated by democracy, socialism and workers power. Those forces were, in the West, fascism and it's Nazi variant and, in the East, Stalinism and the victory of a bureaucratic counter-revolution to destroy the Russian Revolution. Humanity paid the price. The choice was socialism or barbarism and we got barbarism.

How the German Revolution was lost is Harman's task to explain. His main thesis is that German revolutionaries didn't build a distinct revolutionary political current that would be able to lead a revolution and, when they had doe so, were haunted by their previous failures leading to more indecisiveness or adventurism. Harman's aim is also directed at the so-called socialist leaders of the SPD who sought to defeat revolution and worked with reactionaries who were prepared to wade through blood to achieve their aims. The disastrous meddling of the Communist International also comes in for criticism.

A good book. Well written. The argument is convincing. The focus is perhaps too exclusively on the Left with little or no discussion of the counter-revolutionary forces.
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