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The Russian Revolution

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  346 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Mr. Pipes writes trenchantly, and at times superbly....No single volume known to me even begins to cater so adequately to those who want to discover what really happened to Russia....Nor do I know any other book better designed to help Soviet citizens to struggle out of the darkness."

-- Ronald Hingley, The New York Times Book Review

Ground-breaking in its inclusiveness, ent
Paperback, 976 pages
Published November 5th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1990)
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Very long narrative history of the lead up and early stages of the Russian Revolution and civil war. It gives a useful picture of how confused and fast-moving the situation was, particularly in 1918. There is a constant emphasis on the role of the non-Russian nationalities during the civil war, to such an extent that the book could have been more honestly called "The non-Russian Revolution", Russians being a passive lot upon whom revolution in Pipes account is visited by Czechs, Estonians and ...more
Carl Von Clausewitz
Dec 22, 2008 Carl Von Clausewitz rated it really liked it
Pipes and Figes are the best authors if you are interested in Russian History.
Claudia Moscovici
Jan 24, 2010 Claudia Moscovici rated it it was amazing
The best account of the Russian Revolution--its fervor and its madness--that I have read. A must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of communism and totalitarianism.
Mar 29, 2014 Corey rated it it was amazing
This five star review is with serious reservations. If you are very interested in the Russian Revolution, this book is the definitive account. Not only does it demonstrate impeccable scholarship, but has a definite point of view. Pipes clearly does not like Lenin or Bolshevism. Because of his strong opinions, which show through in his writing, the book is more engaging than if he had worried about feigning objectivity. The Russian Revolution was tragic and evil, and set the stage for modern ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Graham rated it liked it
The second book of RIchard Pipes' trilogy is filled with slightly more right-wing banter than Russia Under the Old Regime, but I still would recommend it cause it sure is about as a complete history as you are probably gonna want.
Dec 17, 2015 Lundriguez rated it did not like it
Stupid propaganda which treats Marxist thought like everyone was faking it the whole time just to drink the blood of children. Full disclosure I hate his son too.
James Burns
I was Really looking forward to reading this book because the Russian revolution has always interested me. This book by far is the best book that I have read on the Russian Revolution to this date, My only disappointment was that he did mot cover the Russian Civil War between the Red Army (Bolshevik) and the White Armies and Their Leaders and the battles and tactics and strategies as in-depth as he did all the other subjects. I was able to learn a lot about this chapter in the histories of ...more
Jeff Fuller
Mar 15, 2016 Jeff Fuller rated it really liked it
Pipes does a masterful job of explaining the causes and describing the events of the Russian Revolution. At over 800 pages, the book provides lots of detail, but it may have been a bit much for someone who has only a passing familiarity with the events and personalities. I thought the chapter about the Russian peasantry was a fascinating analysis and the chapter about the execution of the Russian royal family was excellent narrative history. A reader who is motivated to learn about this ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Derek rated it liked it
It was fascinating to see real living examples of secret combinations and murders on which the formation of the Soviet Union relied. It was nothing short than the work of the adversary through the hands of a few maniacal men. It offers a somber warning to all of us. The Russian peoples were overwhelmingly against a Soviet form of government when the revolution met them. Without an anchor, they fell to the madness and the rioting of the times.
Aug 10, 2016 Neil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thorough and well-written history. Can a group of young idealists take over the 5th biggest economy in the world, and bring misery and suffering to its people? (spoiler: they can).

Only quibble I have is this edition, although after the fall of the Soviet Empire, does not rely on more complete archival information now available. It would be interesting to have a foreword or review that explains where these gaps have more recently been filled in.
Daniel Bakken
Dec 12, 2010 Daniel Bakken rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Richard Pipes is in the same league as David McCullough- a world class historian. He deeply understands Russia and unfolds his mastery using crystal clear prose. Blows away many myths about the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917. Well worth the time investment to better understand this pivotal event which is still misunderstood today.
Oct 29, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it
C:3.5 U:4 P:3 A:2.8

The first half of the book features a lot of really unfortunate polemicizing. Overall, it is a very comprehensive look at the Revolutionary years from the perspective of Bolshevik psychology. I especially appreciated the history of German intervention and cooperation with the Bolsheviks in the tenuous first years of their regime.
Jan Wammen
Mar 15, 2016 Jan Wammen rated it it was amazing
Excellent book which present a nuanced picture of the Russian society before, during and after the revolution. The zar was not up to his tasks, but the real turmoil started when then intellectuals in the provisional government took over. They abolished the central and local administration and police forces which led the nation into chaos. Evolution is better than revolution.
Dec 14, 2011 Hansinsan rated it really liked it
Well written. Easy access to the Russian revolution. Good book to start with when trying to understand the complex hirtory of the Russian revolution. Complement to Sheila Fitzpatrick book on the revolution.
Oct 20, 2014 Caleb rated it it was amazing
wonderful, full of detail. a "conservative" view of the revolution which means, mostly, that it isn't sympathetic to the bolshevik party and the spin they put on their "revolution."
Matthew rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2016
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Paulina Migalska
Paulina Migalska rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2013
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Kim Carlson
Kim Carlson rated it it was amazing
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Feb 27, 2014 Monica rated it it was amazing
A great book describing the development of Russia from the inside.
Jerry Mason
Jerry Mason rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2014
Carmen rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2014
Ondra Mikule
Ondra Mikule rated it really liked it
May 18, 2014
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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
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