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The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 21 Feb 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1st Edition edition (21 Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192853953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853950
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.5 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"An admirable effort to rescue from politics the greatest upheaval of modern times and reclaim it for history."--Newsweek (on the previous edition) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Stephen Smith is Professor of History at the University of Essex. He works on the social history of the Russian and Chinese revoltuions and is author of Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 1983), and A Road is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-27 (Curzon Press, 2000).


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 6 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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
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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.
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Not THAT short (alright, as far as the revolution goes it is, but it's still over 100 pages)

As with other books in the 'A Very Short Introduction' collection, this little piece is excellent! It's written in a very accessible way that makes it easy to follow and understand. It explains the chronology of the Russian Revolution from 1905 until post- civil war, and has all the facts there in the palm of your hand. Parts of it are almost written as a narrative which makes it easy to dip in and out of, and it is small enough to fit in any bag or briefcase for on-the-go reading! As far as a starting point for investigating the Russian Revolution, there is no better place than this book!
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By F Henwood TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Mar. 2013
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).
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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
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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