Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938” as Want to Read:
Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
This classic biography carefully traces Bukharin's rise to and fall from power, focusing particularly on the development of his theories and programmatic ideas during the critical period between Lenin's death in 1924 and the ascendancy of Stalin in 1929.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published February 1st 1980 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 21, 2016 Neal rated it it was amazing
The bulk of this book is a history of the USSR's New Economic Policy from its initiation in 1921 until its abrupt termination at the end of 1929. The NEP was a policy formulated largely by Lenin and Bukharin which tried to lead the USSR through a market-based transition to socialism. With this history, told from Bukharin's perspective, Stephen Cohen makes two very important arguments.

First, he shows how Lenin, Bukharin, and the vast majority of the Bolsheviks planned out a peaceful transition t
Oct 04, 2015 Manray9 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russia
Cohen's acclaimed biography of the man Lenin named "the favorite of the Party" and Stalin shot as a traitor is a must for all interested in Soviet history and the triumph of Stalinism. An excellent example of academic writing.
Feb 19, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soviet-history
Of course, this books deserves the praise that critics have heaped upon it since its publication in 1971. I can think of no other history of Soviet politics up to Bukharin's execution in 1938 that even approaches it in completeness and clarity. The outlines of that history are immediately evident, and one can consult other works for all the details.

I do have one criticism of the book, however. In his introduction Cohen writes: "The real question is whether either of these party leaders [Trotsky
Oct 13, 2012 Riley rated it it was amazing
Not realizing it, I read this book twice (in 2011 and 2012), and even wrote two reviews. The five stars was my first review. I would have given it four the second time around.

Review 1)

Every era inevitably reexamines and rewrites history. That is especially true with accounts of the Soviet Union, where there are huge differences depending on whether a book was written before or after the Iron Curtain's collapse.

Today, most histories stress the continuity between Lenin and Stalin, and the bloodi
Jan 28, 2009 Ming rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Author was my teacher on a course on Russia in college. An interesting look at the power stuggle between party members with the power vacuum left by lenin
Nov 23, 2016 Brant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Cohen lays out not only a biography in the narrow term but a history of the time and place in which Bukharin lived. It functions as a critique of the approach of Lenin towards economic policies before the revolution, which Lenin wrote off almost completely. It allows for a new understanding of the original Bolshevik dialectal unity of theory and practice that would be ruptured by Stalin during the first five-year plan, where practice would use theory as a rubber stamp for the outcomes of what wo ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Brendan rated it it was amazing
The Gospel According to Cohen

After forty years, Stephen F. Cohen’s Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: a Political Biography remains a supreme document of Soviet history and a triumphant act of revisionist history. Cohen writes a linear history of the life of Nikolai Bukharin, the Bolshevik Party’s most brilliant theorist, while supplementing the narrative with Bukharin’s intellectual engagements with the Soviet Union as it develops.Cohen divides his study in ten chapters, roughly beginning
Dec 04, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it
C:4 U:3 P:4 A:3

This will be pretty dry if you don't enjoy the vagaries of early Bolshevik theoretics. And knowledge of the contemporary political situation is assumed. That said, Cohen makes a strong case for Bukharin's rehabilitation as a major object of historical interest. And by taking seriously Bukharin's sociological contributions to Marxist-leninism, he shed light on how, exactly, top bolsheviks rationalized some of the more glaring contradictions their revolutionary project produced.

Feb 07, 2011 Rick rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning book - remarkable research went into its preparation. The writing is excellent. The subject matter - and subject-of-the-biography - are fascinating and meaningful about how Stalinism developed in opposition to Bukharin's entirely different intentions and theory about how to build communism. I never encountered the name or story of Nikolai Bukharin in my history studies in high school or college. I am glad I have now, and I will read more of this man and the story of the develo ...more
Aug 17, 2008 Sigfried rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc
If I was Bolshevik, I would want to be this pimp. Party theorist, charismatic, womanizer, economic guru, and creator of the NEP, and the last true Bolshevik. Also, he lasted longer than most of the original members of the revolution so that helps. Damn Stalin and his Show Trials. I highly recommend this book for those wanting to know more about being a pimp in a Russian revolution.
Tania Barnes
Tania Barnes rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2013
Jamie rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2012
Kimba Tichenor
Kimba Tichenor rated it really liked it
May 30, 2016
T. rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2013
Nic rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2012
Barry Smirnoff
Barry Smirnoff rated it it was amazing
Jun 07, 2016
Geoffrey Cobb
Geoffrey Cobb rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2008
Mark Feltskog
Mark Feltskog rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2009
Tony duncan
Tony duncan rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2008
Rick rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2013
Sydney Parker
Sydney Parker rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2016
Erin Katz
Erin Katz rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2015
Bar Shirtcliff
Bar Shirtcliff rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2013
Daniel rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2008
Matthew Hines
Matthew Hines rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2016
Chris Jenson
Chris Jenson rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2015
Joanne rated it did not like it
Aug 14, 2013
Joe rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2007
Wendel rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Bob.lieberman rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky, 1929-1940
  • Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky
  • The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 (Annals of Communism Series)
  • Marx's Capital
  • Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928
  • Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s
  • Essential Works of Lenin: "What Is to Be Done?" and Other Writings
  • Lenin: A Study in the Unity of His Thought
  • The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System
  • Lenin: A Biography
  • Karl Marx: A Biography
  • The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism
  • Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World
  • Three Who Made a Revolution: A Biographical History of Lenin, Trotsky & Stalin
  • Trotsky for Beginners
  • The General: Charles De Gaulle And The France He Saved
  • The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture
  • The Russian Revolution/Leninism or Marxism?

Share This Book