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On one hand this book provides a brilliant empirical and historical study of the origins of the Russian Soviets, and also goes in to depth about what exactly a soviet is - with good notes on their structure, and the ways that they changed over the years. On the other hand, the whole book is infected with a partisan anti-Bolshevism (despite the author recognizing the mass support that the Bolsheviks enjoyed). In attacking the Bolsheviks the author also repeats many untrue statements about the "Bo ...more
The best introductory survey to the "soviets," not Russians, but the workers, peasants and soldiers councils of 1905-1921. Anweiler presents the soviets in a historical panorama of similar self-emancipating labor and popular forms from the Paris Commune to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He asks important questions? Are they merely intermittent protest activity, or self-governing political forms? Did they arrive before or after Lenin? What was their status once Lenin's Bolshevik regime consoli ...more