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Three "Whys" of the Russian Revolution

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  167 Ratings  ·  16 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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Mark Taylor
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first read Richard Pipes’ book Three “Whys” of the Russian Revolution in high school, back in the late 1990’s, after I took an excellent class called “Russia in the 20th century,” which piqued my interest in Russian history. I re-read Pipes’ book this winter, and I was impressed by his analysis of the Russian Revolution.

Three “Whys” of the Russian Revolution is a short book, just 84 pages long, and it’s a distillation of some of the ideas that Pipes presented in his 1991 book The Russian Revol
Elliot Ratzman
Mar 05, 2012 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
Apr 19, 2016 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
Lore Velasco
This book is extremely biased and the ego of the author makes it kind of hard "most authors say this BUT I have concluded that and it's right bc I'm the only one who says so :)". I wouldn't recommend it that much thanks to the way it's written. I hope it wasn't so vague all the time, and he tackles so much down in every one of the three questions that I couldn't consistently answer you any of them, each point gets lost.
the fact he is American and worked for president Regan tells you enough on hi
Yogy TheBear
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly this is not a history book, for history books on the Russian revolution Pipes suggests us his most important history books on the subject: The Russian Revolution and Russia under the Bolshevik regime. I personalty think this book requires some long books on Russian rev to be read beforehand (not necessarily Pipes's)
This book is a conclusion, or an interpretation of given historical facts done by the author. This book is meant to be biased and to accuse it of that means you are silly, if
Mar 24, 2013 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
Nov 06, 2015 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.
Jun 15, 2010 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.
Aug 24, 2014 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 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!
Vincenzo Aversa
Aug 17, 2011 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.
can't be said enough times: guy is worthless waste of space.
Tia Malkin-fontecchio
Aug 11, 2015 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.
Jul 19, 2007 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.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
I wanted to get a feel for Pipes' writing before tackling the massive The Russian Revolution and this short introduction did the trick.
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Jan 20, 2013
Maegen Schmidt
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Laura Edwards
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May 06, 2014
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Sep 27, 2014
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Jun 25, 2009
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Feb 20, 2018
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Levan Ramishvili
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Aug 30, 2014
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May 24, 2014
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Born in Poland, Richard Pipes fled the country with his family when Germany invaded it in 1939. After reaching the United States a year later, Pipes began his education at Muskingum College, which was interrupted in 1943 when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps and sent to Cornell to study Russian. He completed his bachelor's degree at Cornell in 1946 and earned his doctorate at Harvard Univers ...more
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