Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now
Start reading The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction Narrated by Suzanne Toren £7.99 £3.49

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

S. A. Smith
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.80 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.19 (40%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £3.49 after you buy the Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.80  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £6.39  
Audio Download, Unabridged £0.00 Free with Audible trial
Celebrate 5 Years of Kindle
Celebrate 5 Years of Kindle: Bestsellers for 99p
For five days starting 2nd September, 2015 we'll reveal a selection of bestsellers from the last 5 years, on sale for 99p for one day only -- come back each day to see the next selection of favourites for 99p. >Shop now

Book Description

This Very Short Introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole--on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another. The book registers the primacy of politics, but situates political developments firmly in the context of
massive economic, social, and cultural change. Since the fall of Communism there has been much reflection on the significance of the Russian Revolution. The book rejects the currently influential, liberal interpretation of the revolution in favour of one that sees it as rooted in the contradictions of
a backward society which sought modernization and enlightenment and ended in political tyranny.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description


Review from previous edition A lucid and indeed instantly classic explanation of the revolutionary spirit in its pre-1917 and Lenin-then-Stalin dominated stages. (Tribune)

A welcome new edition of this classic history, a triumph of concision and incise analysis by a scholar who knows more than almost anyone about the early years of the Soviet system. (Orlando Figes, Birkbeck College, London, and author of A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924)

A succinct, insightful, and highly original interpretation of the Russian Revolution as a process of social transformation lasting from 1917 to 1937... Fitzpatrick gives us a challenging rethinking that will shape our discussions for years to come. (Ronald Suny, University of Michigan)

A beautiful little introduction to the topic. This is a fine work for introductory students, as well as for general readers looking for a window into the Russian enigma. (Robert V. Daniels, University of Vermont)

About the Author

Sheila Fitzpatrick is Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor in Modern Russian History at the University of Chicago, specializing in Modern Russian and Soviet social, political, and cultural history. A past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and the recipient of a Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award, her other publications include Everyday Stalinism and Tear off the Masks! Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1252 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0192853953
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; 1st edition (21 Feb. 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192853953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853950
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,627 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian Revolution 6 Nov. 2003
This is a very concise chronological accout of the Revolution of 1917. The book deals well with the context of the situation of Russia, detailing the failings and popular views of the Tsarist regime. It goes on to detail the events of 1917 and the eventual Bolshevik Revolution in October. Without getting bogged down the book introduces the various ideologies of the factions contesting power, as well as a brief introduction to the main figeures, especially Lenin. The book is good a platform from which a full study of the doctrines, ideologies and impacts of the Revolution can be made.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bought the book for summertime and I was very pleased by the non-scholar tone, yet the book is filled with facts and very pleasant to read. I knew many aspects of the Russian revolution but the book did reveal many internal mechanisms used by the Bolsheviks to seize and stay in power - Congratulations
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction for the layman 8 July 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Critics of the Very Short Introduction series, have long attacked these books for 'dumbing down' serious topics. I beg to differ. Informative, tightly woven, and jam-packed with information, without losing control, this is an excellent introduction for the layman, on a pivotal era of world history.

If this brief introduction whets your appetite, then the extensive reading list proves more than adequate to satisfy your intellectual curiosity.

And they're pocket size to boot, making them handy for reading on the train or bus. With hundreds of topics to choose from, I cannot recommend these books enough.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked this up to use for an essay and I have to say it gives a good solid over view of the Russia Revolution. Now that said it does not give a heavy in depth look at every facet-I felt more could have been given over to the 1905 Revolution. If that's what your after you should also pick up Orlando Figes People's Tragedy
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 11 Aug. 2005
THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION by Sheila Fitzpatrick is very concise and excellently written, giving a better understanding of the revolution and its purpose as well as a better outlook to the characters than other books on that era of history. I recommend this book with UNION MOUJIK, PUTIN'S RUSSIA, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LENIN, RUSSIA'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION to compliment this book on the Russian revolution and its aftermath until today's Russia.
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 1 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Started a module at university on the Russian Revolution, covering the years of around 1840-1930. This book was brilliant for a basic coverage of the period as it includes a good description and analysis of events. I would recommend this to anyone studying the revolution as it is a fantastic place to start. It must also be noted that this book went past the 1930 mark that my course set covering Stalin's great purges which dominated the 1930s.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for A-level 5 Dec. 2005
This book was lent to me by my hitory teacher, for some catchup work and background reading. I found that not only did it give an overview of the whole revolution but also an in depth look at the topic I required(NEP coincidentally). i would definitely give this a read, no matter who you are, although A-level or GCSE students will probably benefit the most, as it is really easy to read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction 29 Mar. 2013
By F Henwood TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From 1905 to 1938, Russia underwent not one but arguably four revolutions. The first was the failed 1905 revolution in the wake of Russia's defeat at the hands of Japan; the second and third the February and October revolutions of 1917; the fourth Stalin's revolution from above in the early 1930s. This book covers all four with an economy of effort (172 pages of text and another 19 pages of notes and bibliography) and is an excellent introduction to the subject.

I was particularly interested in Fitzpatrick's interpretation of the revolution as I think that it is a novel one and made me think differently about how to understand it. For Fitzpatrick, the Russian revolution was a process, not an event. It began in October 1917 and ended sometime in the late 1930s, after the end of Stalin's purges. Throughout this period, there were three motifs: modernization, class and terror. Interpreting these motifs lead us to understand the revolution differently to what we may previously have been led to believe.

Regarding modernization, the first motif, the Bolsheviks were great admirers of the productive and technological accomplishments of Western industrialisation, if not its class aspects. Stalin's industrialisation of the country was inspired by conceptions of the superiority and necessity of urbanization and industrialisation with the peasantry the principal bearers of the financial and human cost of this drive. (Fitzpatrick's discussion reminded me why the prospects of a communist revolution in an advanced country are nil: once modernity has been achieved, communism as an appeal to overcome backwardness has no force).
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Series
good series
Published 1 month ago by Capt Duncan Mckelvie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 months ago by Alias
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful Introduction
Short and concise it gave a quick run through for the someone coming to the subject for the first time.
Published 18 months ago by Mr. P. Temple
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Russian Revolution
Provides a good starting point for any reading or study of russian revolution. Nevertheless, should only be used as a basic book and further reading is definately needed.
Published on 26 Feb. 2012 by Laura Stewart
2.0 out of 5 stars Informative but very boring
I do think that russian revolution is very interesting but this introduction was painfully boring due to the writing. I had to force my way through it.
Published on 7 Oct. 2011 by Anonymous Kate
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor and lacking coherence
Very unhelpful as an introduction to the topic. I found the conclusions did not tie together the ends drawn out in the main chapters, and by the end of the book felt I had a very... Read more
Published on 12 Aug. 2010 by Edward Long
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Going
I was looking for a fairly brief but reliable guide to a complex subject. This book was, to be honest, a hard read. Read more
Published on 8 May 2009 by Lorna Buck
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear, catchy and informative
Sheila Fitzpatrick is a well-known academic in the field of modern Russian history. She presents the reader with a good introduction to the turbulent years immediately preceding... Read more
Published on 13 April 2009 by Giuseppe Pagliarulo
Search Customer Reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category