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The Lost Revolution: Germany 1918-1923

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The swastika first entered modern history in the uniforms of the German counterrevolutionary troops of 1918 to 1923—and because of the defeat in Germany, Russia fell into the isolation that gave Stalin his road to power. Here, Chris Harman unearths the history of the lost revolution in Germany, and reveals its lessons for the future struggles for a better world.
Paperback, 334 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Haymarket Books (first published October 1st 1982)
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Jul 29, 2013 Carol rated it liked it
Walk with me! Through a review of a fairly dry political history of a particular period of German Communism (from the perspective of a British SWP member) after WW1!! The book was sitting on the shelf of an artist/activist in Berlin who's apartment I am subletting. I was wanting some historical knowledge. It was good timing.

Now, when I say that I've read this book I mean that I've read the first 5 chapters and the conclusion. And look, it's *possible* that I missed some crucial details in the c
Simon Butler
Jan 04, 2014 Simon Butler rated it really liked it
An illuminating summary of a fascinating, rebellious period in German history. Had the German revolution been consummated the world would likely be very different today. The revolution's defeat in the early 1920's was a key factor in the rise to power of the Nazis in the 1930s. The defeat also isolated the fledgling Russian revolution, which in turn paved the way for Stalin's rise to power and the strangling of Russia's democratic socialism.

Harman's account captures the heroism and self-sacrific
Sep 23, 2012 Subvert rated it liked it
I've read half the book, but I don't have my own copy and I've too much other stuff to read anyway, so not sure if I'll get around finishing this. Anyway, it's an extremely interesting book about a history that you for some reason won't hear about in history class. I never knew the German revolution was this big and could so easily gone the other way, as in a full-blown Bolshevik style revolution in one of world's most industrialized countries (rather than just in the Russian peasant economy). I ...more
Titus Hjelm
Oct 29, 2014 Titus Hjelm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The utterly chaotic situation in Germany between 1918 and 1923 is somewhat reflected in the book itself. It is at times difficult to follow the timeline and connections between events. That aside, I think the book is a really fascinating and well written work on the period. Obviously, it is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause, if not always to the bumbling Communist party. As in most left history writing, the SPD/social democrats emerge as the worst culprit. In the German case there are many ...more
Derek Ide
Jan 30, 2013 Derek Ide rated it really liked it
A very clear, concise, cogent analysis of the German revolution and it's ultimate failure. I would recommend it to anyone as a primer. That said, it's an ancillary and not very important part of the book, but I do believe the hagiographic treatment of Lenin, and to a lesser extent Trotsky, reach a level of absurdity that is difficult to read at times. There are points in the book where I literally cringe at the crudity of the hero worship. It's a strange thing for a Marxist historian to exhibit, ...more
Kevin Lewis
Apr 02, 2007 Kevin Lewis rated it really liked it
A condensed account of the failed German socialist revolution of 1918-1919 and the rise of reactionary, conservative forces which would come to be known as the Nazi party. A good read for the politics of revolution as well as for the history, and a compelling case for some sense of cohesion among revolutionaries, but runs the risk of sounding Leninist-authoritarian, particularly in the neat little summaries presented at the end of each segment. A great book that's a little heavy on the commentar ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Dan rated it it was amazing
The end of this short history of the German revolution made me pretty sad--the German Communist Party came within minutes of seizing power in 1923, launching a civil war against the Nazis and other rightists, then called it off.

Before reading this book, I knew next to nothing about this period of revolutionary history. The time and experience is packed with good lessons for sensible revolutionaries, and the author does a great job of drawing them out.
Dec 02, 2013 Radostinski rated it really liked it
Chris Harman is one of my favorite Marxist writers. What I like about him and the rest of the SWP guys is that, when writing about a particular historical event, he did not restrict himself just to storytelling, but provided insights about how a revolutionary should have acted in the particular situation. "The Lost Revolution" is not an exception in that respect, which makes it a great book.
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British journalist and political activist for the Socialist Workers Party.

Harmann was involved with activism against the Viet Nam war but became controversial for denouncing Ho Chi Minh for murdering the leader of the Vietnamese Trotskists.

Harman's work on May 1968 in France and other student and workers uprisings of the late 1960s, The Fire Last Time, was recommended by rock band Rage Against th
More about Chris Harman...

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