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Three "Whys" of the Russian Revolution

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  128 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
America's foremost authority on Russian communism--the author of the definitive studies The Russian Revolution and Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime--now addresses the enigmas of that country's 70-year enthrallment with communism. Succinct, lucidly argued, and lively in its detail, this book offers a brilliant summation of the life's work of a master historian.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published May 27th 1997 by Vintage (first published April 14th 1996)
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Apr 19, 2016 Masrur rated it it was ok
Pipes proposes interesting arguments which make for a good read. However, the amount of ego in the writing made it very difficult to enjoy. More focused on forcing in his own experiences, Pipes goes to the ends of the Earth to fit in anecdotes which don't make logical sense or correlation. The general wordiness of the book also troubled me. What he wanted to put across could be said in a clearer way. Furthermore, aside from the 3 broad chapters, there are no other breaks in the book. It flows ha ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Dan rated it liked it
A bit of an American slant, with their "what could possibly be wrong with our capitalist system" mentality coming through. But some good facts about the revolution that I didnt know. Dispels some of the popular myths about the way the revolution unfolded and paints Lenin in a not so nice light for a change.
Tia Malkin-fontecchio
Aug 11, 2015 Tia Malkin-fontecchio rated it it was ok
More of a political text than an historical work. One could assign this to students to demonstrate bias and selective reading of evidence in historical scholarship.
Elliot Ratzman
Mar 05, 2012 Elliot Ratzman rated it liked it
The Bolsheviks took power, the Czar fell and--after Lenin dies--Stalin takes control. Inevitable? Only the most dogmatic determinist would say so, yet Pipes shadowboxes with unnamed ‘revisionist’ historians in these three short polemical lectures of 1995. Anti-Communist Pipes is the father of the anti-Muslim Daniel Pipes, which may explain such judgments as when describing Czarism’s top-down rule: “In this respect, Russian was very Oriental.” Hmm. Still, here are interesting arguments drawing on ...more
Nov 09, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it
Pipes, a preeminent historian and analyst of communism in Russia, answers the "three whys" of the Russian revolution. Arguing that the revolution was not a revolution, but rather a coup d'é·tat, Pipes offers the view that the fall of tsarist rule was not inevitable, Bolshevik takeover was not inevitable, and that Stalin's was a natural outflow once the former events occurred. This is a good, quick read covering some essential questions surrounding these important events.
Aug 24, 2014 Jaclyn rated it liked it
A quick Sunday afternoon review of three major elements of the events leading up to the Bolshevik's power grab to Stalin's takeover from Lenin. Interesting for its anti-revisionist stance, Pipes finds only Stalin's rise to be inevitable among the topics considered: fall of tsarism, Bolshevik success in '17, and Stalin's succession of Lenin.
Jul 05, 2014 Molly rated it really liked it
Succinct, yet surprisingly broadly-illuminating, I'm really glad I finally got around to reading this book that was assigned to me in a college course nearly 15 years ago....Probably would have gotten even more out of it then, when I was immersed in the study of the Soviet Union's formation. But better late than never!
Sep 04, 2014 Highjump rated it really liked it
I am finally reading some books about Russia I've been hoarding forever (both fiction and non-fiction) for an epic Russian Winter of Reading. I thought about re-reading The Russian Revolution to refresh my memory of the historical context but that thing is a brick so I read this instead. It was so well done that it almost convinced me to actually re-read the brick!

Pipes is somewhat controversial but I agree with most of what he has to say. The Russian Revolution was driven and shaped by politic
Vincenzo Aversa
Aug 17, 2011 Vincenzo Aversa rated it liked it
Poche pagine per smascherare alcune delle convinzioni piú comuni relative al mito del buon comunismo. A farne le spese sopratutto Lenin, spogliato senza pietà dell'idealismo e dell'amor per i popoli che comunemente lo allontano da figure ben piú discusse come quella di Stalin.
Mar 15, 2012 Andy rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
I wanted to get a feel for Pipes' writing before tackling the massive The Russian Revolution and this short introduction did the trick.
Jul 19, 2007 Cody rated it liked it
Shelves: russia
You can tell that Pipes worked for Reagan, but this is still a very succinct critical summary of the revolution and the surrounding ideas.
Oct 02, 2011 sologdin rated it did not like it
can't be said enough times: guy is worthless waste of space.
Michael Blaakman
Totally insane.
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Born in Poland, Richard Pipes emigrated to the United States in 1940, and became an American citizen in 1943, while serving in the Army Air Corps.

He was educated at Muskingum College and Cornell and Harvard Universities. He married Irene Eugenia Roth in 1946, and has two children.

Pipes taught at Harvard from 1950 until his retirement in 1996, and was director of Harvard's Russian Research Center f
More about Richard Pipes...

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