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History of the Russian Revolution

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,005 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
During the first two months of 1917 Russia was still a Romanov monarchy. Eight months later the Bolsheviks stood at the helm. They were little known to anybody when the year began, and their leaders were still under indictment for state treason when they came to power. You will not find another such sharp turn in history especially if you remember that it involves a nation ...more
ebook, 1040 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Haymarket Books (first published 1930)
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Apr 05, 2017 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics, 2017
All Power to the Soviets!

Written in three parts some years after the Revolution of 1917, Trotsky sets out to give a detailed history of the events of that year, combined with his analysis of what led to Russia being ripe for revolution at that moment in time. He admits to his own bias, but claims that he has rigorously fact-checked, including only what can be verified in written records. In order to stop the book reading like an autobiography or memoir, he refers to himself in the third person t
Erik Graff
Jan 04, 2009 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Ed Erickson
Shelves: history
I read two adbridgements of major books as an adolescent. One was Gibbon's Decline and Fall, the other Trotsky's History. Years later I reread the complete Decline, but have yet to do the History. Additionally, as an even younger person, I even read condensed works of fiction--usually from Readers' Digests' books which Nanny, our paternal grandmother, had around her cottage in Michigan.

All of this is mentioned as a kind of confession. I would never do such a thing today. Indeed, by college, I wo
Nov 02, 2012 Feliks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A phenomenal work of historical and political writing. Every bit as good as its reputation suggests. I'm chagrined I've been so delinquent in arriving at this title. Now that I'm in it; I am loving the experience. Superbly written; arcing in scope; chock full of razor-keen insight and observation. Here is Trotsky at the height of his elocution. What a mind the man had.
Jul 14, 2009 Jape rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK I really likes this book. The modestly told tale of Trotsky's personal life is beautifully woven with the monumental tale of the crisis of capital, war and the class struggle. The will of millions, the reviled heroes and honored betrayers all are summed up calmly and masterfully. The man writes like he lived- with an unshaken confidence in the course of human history.
Mark Dickman
Jul 12, 2012 Mark Dickman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trotsky's masterpiece and not only the greatest work of history, but a great work of literature. Aristotle, in the Poetics, said a gift for metaphor is the surest sign of literary genius. And Trotsky's gift for metaphor is second only to the likes of Shakespeare, Homer and Milton.
Jan 01, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's get this out of the way - yes, Trotsky's history is self-serving, both as a defense of the October Revolution and as a prop for Trotsky's own status as a revolutionary.

But this gets five stars for a number of reasons, first and foremost because Trotsky writes a gripping narrative that delves deep into the sociology that underpins 1917. But the real treasure in this read is the historical significance - has any other prime mover of such a massive historical event written an analytical histo
Elling Borgersrud
god lesning. Jeg hadde ikke sånne forhåpninger. Jeg er generellt ikke spesielt imponert av den trotskistiske retninga. Men dette er ganske god marxisme, altså.
Jeg liker virkelig godt hvordan han sammenligner forskjellige revolusjoner og opprør gjennom tidene, og systematiserer i stadier og faser, noe som gjør at det er en nyttig bok i forståelsen av andre opprør og revolusjoner av en hvis størrelse. Også de i moderne tid. Mye av dynamikken er ganske lik. Jeg hadde stor nytte av den for å skjønn
Aubeen Lopez
Jun 22, 2007 Aubeen Lopez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unsurpassed contribution to history of the Russian Revolution in particular and to the Marxist analysis of history in general! The best book I ever read!
Con independencia de las valoraciones y apreciaciones políticas del autor, el libro es un testimonio apasionante de quien fue actor principal de unos acontecimientos que han marcado la historia de la humanidad de los últimos 100 años. Aún sabiendo que el autor fue responsable de muchas muertes, el libro es de lectura obligada para quien le interese la historia contemporánea.
James Richardson
Jul 05, 2015 James Richardson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the Russian Revolution and true communism based on Marxism
I just finished reading Volume 3 of Leon Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution. The October (Bolshevik) Revolution was essentially bloodless! The people and army wanted and demanded that the Soviets take power. WOW 1917 was quite the year. Great Book and well worth the 937 pages to read all three volumes. Some quotes forthcoming comrades.
Marv's Council
Feb 10, 2012 Marv's Council rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I've ever read. Period!

Still waiting for the revolution mind.
A Note About the Author

--History of the Russian Revolution

Appendix Note
Appendix I: Some Legends of the Bureaucracy
Appendix II: Socialism in a Separate Country
Appendix III: Historic References on the Theory of "Permanent Revolution"

Chronological Table
A Short List of Principal Persons
A Short List of Principal Places
A Brief Glossary of Unfamiliar Terms
A List of Parties and Political Groups
Paul Taylor
Mar 10, 2017 Paul Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a major work of historical importance but is not suitable for the general reader. Trotsky has a journalist's talent for prose and shows hints of a sense of humour in some of his laconic asides. It is as objective as an account written by instigator of the revolution could be (although his views of Stalin may well be coloured by his subsequent experience of Stalin's leadership). He does lionise Lenin but it is surprising how modest a role he, Lenin, plays in the eight months covered by Tr ...more
Oct 03, 2014 Chronics rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trotsky's book is divided into 3 volumes, The Overthrow of Tsarism, the History of the Russian Revolution and the Triumph of the Soviets. The first volume primarily looks at Russia under Tsarism, the February Revolution, the Provisional Government and the initial formulation of a new strategy upon the arrival of Lenin back to Russia. Volume Two is focused on the events between the February and October Revolutions, ranging from the Counter Revolutionary conspiracies to the ups and downs in the co ...more
Joaquim Alvarado
Mar 07, 2013 Joaquim Alvarado rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Llegir una història de la revolució soviètica escrita per les mans d'un dels seus protagonistes (i víctima a mig termini), no deixa de tenir el seu interès. Però el llibre no és tal, sinó, tal com ens aclareix a les conclusions, una anàlisi de la societat russa del darrer tsarisme i dels motius del fracàs de la revolució de febrer. De fet, el relat de Trotsky s'atura al juliol. Treball ben documentat, anàlisi profunda dels diferents sectors socials russos del moment i capacitat de redactar en te ...more
Feb 07, 2017 Antonio marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paulo-francis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Mills
Apr 30, 2013 Elizabeth Mills rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vital for the historical content and insight, but be prepared for Trotsky's prejudices. He writes about himself in the third person, allegedly to distance his account from personal bias, but it still shows through. But the joy of this book is that very closeness, you get to know the author well.

The book traces the revolution from its historical causes and roots, through to the first months of the new, uneasy government. It is a good read, filled with the excitement and intrigue of the politics o
Erin Conrad Bradley
Brilliant. Enjoyed all three volumes. He writes with an interesting and natural bent to describe and put the Russian revolution into a correct perspective i.e., before its essence is destroyed in the rise of the epigones and the bureaucratic of the Stalinists.

Trotsky was nicknamed the prince of pamphleteering. After reading this work, got to acknowledge his amazing ability; its why others felt threatened by his tremendous intellectually stimulating and revolutionary work.
Donna Davis
Brilliant eye-witness account by one of those who helped make the revolution happen. This is a heavy, serious read, with dense text and a very thoroughly detailed explanation of what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and what could have happened instead. But it is brilliantly paced and entirely understandable, the English translation well done. If I were going to read just one book on the Russian Revolution, this would be the one.
Frazer Gowans
Hmmm "currently reading" is a bit wrong. Got about half way through this book - not this edition actually but can't find it - about 20-odd years ago. From what IO remeber it's three books in one and I was part way through the second if memory serves (it probably doesn't). Anyway interesting as a book about a revolution from a leading player - unusual. I think it waas good in parts and a bit turgid in others but it's been a long time.
Aug 06, 2014 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even in translation, Trotsky was a gifted writer. His prose, while polemical, is clear and concise, even when explaining complex relations and unfamiliar names, places and events. You can see in his writing a true sense of social justice, but also the blinders of one totally convinced of the truth of his position, i.e., the stance of a fanatic who can justify any means to achieve an end.
1400 pages. The last volume, on the October Revolution, is by far the best. But it requires the struggle of getting through the much less dramatic, but no less important first two volumes, which cover the February Revolution and the counter-revolution.
derrick white
picked this up from the LaPorte Library book purge - along with probably 20 other books for 3.00 (whatever would fit in a brown paper bag)... not sure i'll make it to the finish line on this one.
Jacobo Rodríguez
Al final ganan los buenos
Jackson Cyril
First rate narrative history, but heavily biased-- as one would expect it to be.
Abdullah Khan
Apr 21, 2016 Abdullah Khan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its amazing book..i would suggest to read this book
Self serving in the extreme.
Ken Schaefer
Aug 11, 2012 Ken Schaefer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good start to understanding the Revolution from an author who participated in it. A start in understanding the Russian Revolutions and also Trotsky.
Jul 22, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for any progressive who wants to learn the truth about what Trotsky was all about and what he really stood for.
Joe Hammerman
Aug 05, 2014 Joe Hammerman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible historical account of one of the seminal events of the last century, written by a man who influenced them heavily himself.
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See also Лев Троцкий

Leon Trotsky was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. He was one of the leaders of the Russian October Revolution, second only to Vladimir Lenin. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army and People's Commissar of War. He was also among the first members
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“The boycott of parliamentary institutions on the part of anarchists and semianarchists is dictated by a desire not to submit their weakness to a test on the part of the masses, thus preserving their right to an inactive hauteur which makes no difference to anybody. A revolutionary party can turn its back to a parliament only if it has set itself the immediate task of overthrowing the existing regime.” 3 likes
“Generally speaking, by the way, that is the moral of the opponents of violence in politics: they renounce violence when it comes to introducing changes in what already exists, but in defense of the existing order they will not stop at the most ruthless acts.” 3 likes
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