15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2012
Antony Sutton was a very dedicated man when producing his work, with a very high level of attention to detail. This book is no exception. Everything is based on actual facts, and documents from the American State Department, which is giving an official base to his arguments. You learn how Wall Street financed the revolutionary movements in Russia, the relationship between Russia, Germany and the US, and this is giving a very interesting view of international relations, and shows how a history school book is a tasteless romance miles away from the truth. This is to be read along with his work on the transfer of western technology (to understand the links between Wall Street and their so-called "counterparts") and with the rest of his trilogy about Wall Street. This is a must if people want to understand how revolutions are organized, and in which interest. This is easily applicable nowadays. To conclude, I would say that Pr Sutton only goes with what he managed to prove, so the end of the book mentions controversial facts, by which he doesnt stand since he cannot bring any substantial evidence (apart from a little note found in the state department archive). I highly recommend this book, but also all the work produced by this man who should be known much more.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2012
A fantastic and well documented piece of literature.
Antony Sutton was born in London in 1925 and is the author of 25 books, the most notorious books published are Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler & Wall Street and FDR, both published in 1976. Sutton was educated at the University of London, California and Gottingen. Sutton dedicates Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution to the hundreds of thousands of Green soldiers, who in 1919 fought against the Reds and the Whites for a free Russia.
This book was first published in 1974, since the whole book has been published online and is free to access. A quick Google search will take you to the website. I am however glad that I have a copy in my library.
The very first picture in the book is a cartoon from Robert Minor in St Louis Post-Dispatch of Karl Marx surrounded by Wall Street bankers, including John D Rockefeller, John D Ryan of the National City Bank, J.P. Morgan and George W Perkins.
The first chapter starts off with a quote from William Lawrence Saunders (Chairman, Ingersoll-Rand Corp; director of American International Corp & deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank). Saunders states that he is in support of the Soviet form of Government; this was in a letter sent to President Woodrow Wilson.
After the first chapter, it is very hard to put the book down. Sutton uses a whole range of sources from State Department records in the USA and United Kingdom, biographies and diaries to tell us a shocking story.
This book also goes into great detail on the Red Cross Mission to Russia in 1917, which had more bankers and financiers than doctors. The book also goes into a good bit of detail on William Thompson, who was New York Fed Director. He was in the city of Petrograd from July 1917 until November 1917, where he raised $1Million for the Bolsheviks "for the purpose of spreading their doctrine in Germany and Austria" (Washington Post, February 2, 1918).Sutton also shows us how the Wall Street bankers did business with the Communists at 120 Broadway.
The main reason Wall Street Bankers and corporations supported and funded the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, was to destroy Russia as a future economic force and turn Russia into a "a captive market" that was to be exploited by the greedy, fat cat money barons.
I could write a review on this book all day long, but I do recommend this book to all of those who have a genuine interest in economic history. 5 stars from me!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2011
The orthodox history of the Russian Revolution, like most "official histories", always seems somehow superficial, facile, lacking certain crucial details, despite the vast amount of literature available on the subject. One of the most important considerations when viewing major events in human history is always the question of who provided financial backing; this naturally shows who supported the idea and their subsequent behaviour often shows why. Or in other words, follow the money. The orthodox historiography of the Russian Revolution does not include, like so much else which threatens the status quo, detailed analysis of the financial backing and behind-the-scenes organisation which must go into a successful revolution. Instead we are treated to a deluge of pompous and nonsensical verbiage from the so-called revolutionaries themselves while the real revolutionaries, the instigators and planners, skulk back to their richly-appointed holes.
This book is the first in a series of three by British-born researcher Antony Sutton, the point of which is to irrefutably demonstrate Wall Street promotion and support of barbaric socialist regimes in the twentieth century in order to create captive markets for government-backed monopolies, and also to control international markets by creating false competition and various other deceptions. That there are only three books in this series naturally does not mean that there were only three totalitarian socialist regimes in the twentieth century; the point is simply to demonstrate a pattern; that this particular pattern involves two of the most barbaric regimes in human history, as well as one of the more obvious socialist experiments in the supposedly-capitalist USA, all involving the same relatively small group of (privileged & wealthy) people, is a particularly important point that should not be lost on the reader.
Leaving aside claims of inaccuracy by some reviewers whose hackneyed use of the epithet "conspiracy theorist" demonstrates they are too mired in the false left-right paradigm and consequently too ignorant of the intricasies of the individualist/collectivist argument (including the true nature of socialism) to be truly objective, and whose quibbles demonstrate they have misread, and therefore misquoted direct quotations, misrepresented facts, and generally read and reviewed the book with a view to "proving" the author wrong (and failing miserably), the author has in fact succeeded in doing exactly what he set out to do in this book: he has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that the Bolshevik Revolution was aided and abetted from the start by Wall Street. There is additionally the suggestion, not examined in great depth here, that it was not only aided and abetted from Wall Street but planned there as well.
Using unimpeachable primary documentation, mostly from government archives and personal memoirs, and backed up by meticulous research (this was, after all, the author's occupation) the author here presents the untold story of how Wall Street bankers and industrialists funded and helped organise the Russian Revolution, using the 1917 American Red Cross mission to Russia as the primary vehicle, aided and abetted by well-placed people within the US (and other) governments. This is not, I hasten to add, an implication of the Red Cross; the author is quick to point out that Red Cross missions have often been used for revolutionary purposes without the knowledge of administrators. But the fact that the American Red Cross mission to Russia was staffed predominantly by Wall Street bankers and lawyers, that they acted on behalf of Wall Street and Russian revolutionaries whilst on the mission, that official channels were often bypassed or ignored, and also that subordinate Red Cross missions (for instance that in Romania) suffered from a total lack of support or communication from their masters in Russia, are all well documented and astutely connected and summarised, as are the direct relationships between Wall Street luminaries, politicians and revolutionaries (or terrorists in the modern idiom).
Wall Street & The Bolshevik Revolution is concise yet incisive, well documented and well argued, impeccably referenced and researched. An essential addition to the history library and once again, like so many similar subjects, it is real history that SHOULD be taught in schools. The reason it isn't is explored in later books by Antony Sutton.
15 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2008
Anthony C. Sutton is a libertarian conspiracy theorist whose book "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution" argues that the Bolsheviks were financed by foreign powers, such as Germany, and then by the capitalists that supposedly were their opponents. Sutton believes that the Wall Street bankers and US monopolists wanted Russia to become a huge "captive market", and that the Communist regime made this possible.
The question of contacts between Bolsheviks and capitalist groups is surely an interesting one. Indeed, I don't think any serious historian denies that such contacts existed. But why did they exist? To what extent? And was it really a "conspiracy" in the sense conspiracy theorists believe? After all, there are always strange bedfellows in politics. What about the CIA and one Usama bin-Laden?
My main objection to this book is that it contains several pretty elementary factual errors, and a number of absurd interpretations. This makes the book highly problematic, perhaps even worthless, as source material. The authors research has been sloppy, so why should we trust him on anything? I therefore recommend customers to buy other books on Russian history. If you want to buy this one, do it simply because of interest in conspiracy theory, not out of interest in the actual issues covered.
Here are some of the errors and misinterpretations I managed to find:
Page 19. Sutton claims that there was a 700,000 strong Green Army during the Russian Civil War, which fought both Reds and Whites. He wonders why no history book ever mentions it. Simple: it did not exist. Peasant guerillas sometimes called "Greens" did exist, but they were never centralized into an army. Perhaps Sutton is referring to the great peasant rebellion in Tambov? But that rebellion is well known. He is explictly not referring to the equally well-known Makhnovists. Sutton's Green Army seems to be a hallucination.
Page 25. Sutton writes that Trotsky crossed the Finnish-Russian border at Tornea on June 13, 1917. This is a double mistake. Tornea is situated at the Swedish-Finnish border, not the Finnish-Russian border. Moreover, since Finland was still controlled by Russia at the time, the border was strictly speaking the Swedish-Russian border! Finland didn't become independent until December 6, 1917.
Page 33. Sutton claims, on the authority of Canadian intelligence, that Trotsky was a German agent, and even an ethnic German. The "proof" is Trotsky's real name, Bronstein. But this is not a German name at all, but a Jewish name. The Jewish language Yiddish is derived from German, but it was spoken by Jews in Russia as well. This is common knowledge, yet Sutton doesn't seem to know it. (That a lone Canadian intelligence operative didn't is perhaps more excusable.) Sutton also claims that the name "Trotsky" is Polish, citing this as another suspiscious fact. But some Bolsheviks were Polish, Felix Dzerzhinsky being the most notorious. Nor is this surprising, since Poland was controlled by Russia during the period in question!
Page 47. Sutton quotes a Moscow newspaper, presumably published by the Kadets, complaining about the "social revolutionaries" getting money from the West. Since I haven't seen the original article, this may be risky to judge. But please note that there was a Russian political party called SRs or Social Revolutionaries. The article might therefore be about them, rather than about the Bolsheviks, who, as far as I know, were always referred to simply as "bolsheviki".
Page 52-53. While the Mexican Revolution is surely a complicated story, Sutton's analysis of it is mystifying, to say the least. He seem to think that Pancho Villa and Carranza belonged to the same faction, when in reality they often fought each other. Carranza's faction was the most moderate one during the Revolution, which explains why the US supported him once he was firmly in power. After all, Carranza wanted to suppress the radicals around Villa and Zapata. That the Mexican Constitution was written by "Trotskyites" is an absurd statement, since there were no "Trotskyites" in Mexico in 1917. The claim that the constitution was "Soviet-type" is also problematic. It was a very radical document, to be sure, but Mexico has never been socialist! But perhaps Sutton has such a broad definition of socialism that even Mexico becomes socialist?
These, then, are some of the errors I found in this book.