Over the five years following the Russian revolution of 1917 there occurred a brilliant outburst of theory and criticism among Russian intellectuals struggling to comprehend their country's vast social upheaval. Much of their intense speculation focused on issues that are still hotly debated: Was this socialism? Why had the revolution happened in Russia? What did Bolshevik power mean for Russia and the Western world? This compelling study recovers these early responses to 1917 and analyzes the specific ideological context out of which they emerged. Jane Burbank explores the ideas and experiences of diverse prominent intellectuals, ranging from the monarchists on the right to the Mensheviks, Socialist revolutionaries, and Anarchists on the left. Following these thinkers through the turbulent years of civil war and rebuilding of state power, Burbank shows how revolution both revitalized their political culture and exposed the fragile basis of its existence.
"An extremely valuable account which puts a whole host of ideas about the revolution back into circulation. Everyone from specialists to beginners will find new and stimulating material here.....There is no better account of the political outlook of non-Bolshevik intellectuals in this period, and as such this book can be confidently recommended to anyone interested in the history of the revolution and of the Russian intelligentsia."--Journal of Modern History "The most surprising thing about this book...is its relevance to the Soviet Union today.....After reading Burbank's book, one is less surprised by the crude methods used by the Bolsheviks to ensure their precarious unity than bytheir accomplishment of preserving any unity at all."--Problems of Communism "An important and original book. Dealing with the period of the Revolution, Civil War, and the beginning of the New Economic Policy, Dr. Burbank presents an admirable summary and analysis of the vast body of polemical literature inspired by the Bolshevik seizure of power in l917. It raises fundamental and provocative questions about the Russian Revolution....An impressive piece of work."--Paul Avrich, The City University of New York "The book can be recommended to nonspecialists interested in the playing out of the political debates that occurred after the October Revolution, as well as to those interested in a guide to the commentaries of contemporaries on the new order....Even the specialists familiar with most of these materials will find enlightening information and refreshing perspectives."--Slavic Review
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 12th January 1989
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.44 x 15.67 x 2.36
Weight (kg): 0.5