The Russian Revolution: A New History (Hardback)Sean McMeekin (author)
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It is time to descend from the airy heights of ideological argument about 1917 and return to the solid ground of fact. By going back to the original sources, we can rediscover the revolution as in transpired in real-time, from the perspective of key actors who did not know, as they acted, how the story would turn out.
At the turn of the century, the Russian economy was growing by about 10% annually and its population had reached 150 million. By 1920 the country was in desperate financial straits and more than 20 million Russians had died. And by 1950, a third of the globe had embraced communism.
The triumph of communism sets a profound puzzle. How did the Bolsheviks win power and then cling to it amid the chaos they had created? Traditional histories remain a captive to Marxist ideas about class struggle.
Analysing never before used files from the Tsarist military archives, McMeekin argues that war is the answer. The revolutionaries were aided at nearly every step by Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland who sought to benefit - politically and economically - from the changes overtaking the country. To make sense of Russia's careening path the essential question is not Lenin's "who, whom?", but who benefits?
'Sean McMeekin is a gifted writer with historical talents equal to the challenge of helping the reader to follow the events of the revolution.' - The Times
'A fast-moving revisionist romp' - The FT
Sean McMeekin is an American historian specialising in modern European history. His books include: July 1914: A Countdown to War, The Berlin-Baghdad Express, The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 1908-1923 and The Russian Origins of the First World War.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 478
Weight: 889 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 42 mm
Praise for July 1914: 'Sean McMeekin's chronicle of these weeks in July 1914: Countdown to War is almost impossible to put down ... [McMeekin] delivers a punchy and riveting narrative of high politics and diplomacy over the five weeks after Sarajevo, more or less day by day, dwelling on small groups of decision-makers in and between the various capitals, and their interactions, by turns measured, perplexed, cordial, artful, angry, even tearful * New York Review of Books *
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