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A Brief History of 1917: Russia's Year of Revolution

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Russia's Bolshevik Revolution began in 1917 and has remained a controversial political and academic battleground, fought over for almost a century. It has been demonized—its more sinister aspects used as an anti-Communist battering ram throughout the Cold War—and glorified, as exemplified by John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World. Much has been written about the ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 11th 2005 by Running Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  149 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Khoa Dang
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx-century
Growing up in Vietnam, once a staunch ideological ally of the Soviet Union, I came to know about the October Revolution through standard history textbooks at school: Lenin was the ultimate champion of a new socialist utopia in which the proletarian class took power into their own hand and plotted out their own destiny to a happy and egalitarian society.
This book is the very somber counterbalance to that idyllic facade. It is a primer into a world of chaos and seismic social changes that plunged
Martin Lowery
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short book which details Petrograd, Russia in the year of 1917. Mixed in with history, are personal stories from older generations who lived through the Feburary and October Revolutions of 1917.
Oct 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Nothing special. A nice introductory text on the subject if you don't know too much, but by no means illuminating on any broader issues.
Rob Hocking
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
As a first book on the Russian revolution, this book is ok place to start, in the sense that it does tell you factually what happened and it manages to do so while being fairly concise. However, I found the book a bit misleading. Ostensibly, it is supposed to be the story of the revolution told through the stories of ordinary people. This is what is written on the back and suggested in the introduction, where the author talks about tracking these people down being the idea behind the book. To me ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
It's an intriguing concept -- getting oral histories from a variety of Russians with some connection to Russia's year of revolution. Unfortunately, since the interviews were conducted in the 1990s and early 2000s, the interview subjects delivered their testimonies second-hand. The stories came from people who were children, and the memories usually came via their parents.

Bainton's sympathies are clear early on (as I suppose they should be). The Russian people set themselves free in February 1917
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I couldn’t finish the book. It was too boring, felt a bit messy and out of sequence. I don’t know much about the history of Russia so I was hoping to learn but the names were sort of just thrown in there without any explanation, maybe more suitable for those who have a basic knowledge of the history, which I don’t.
Brett Childs
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good, I enjoyed the first hand interviews with the people who lived during the time of the Revolution and who lived through the regime that Lenin brought upon Russia. And I appreciated the way the book illustrated the event, step by step, you could feel the times
Abbas Zubir
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
For those who wanted to grasp the history of 'October' Revolution. This book should make the list. It tells the story of Russian Revolution from the eyes of ordinary citizens.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, succinct introduction to the main elements and events that caused the February revolution and the bloody October coup d'état. Bainton incorporates personal histories to make his recollection of 1917 more engaging and humanistic. A good book for anyone who is somewhat familiar with the revolution but wants to gather some more understanding.
Ericy Yine
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: october
This book is about 1917, when Russia was in chaos due to the Great war, and where the Bolsheviks grow tired of the weak rule of Tsar Nicholas and rebel against his rule. The Russian nobles live in luxury while the Russian majority are serfs working for the rich minority, starving to death. Then Lenin, Trotsky and Kerensky come along, build up a rebel army and overthrow the Tsar, and start the Soviet Union.

I picked this book up when I saw it on sale in Chapters, and thought that I might be intere
Maxwell Daley
A brief history of 1917 Russia's year of revolution is a book that express the truth through the masses rather than politics or historians it express's the true nature of 1917 through the setting rather than resources on a map. It shows us that Lenin in the eyes of the people was not first their savior but out of the picture most would say history is not changed by people but by their leaders well in this case the people believed at first that they created their own government by their own will ...more
Jason Vanhee
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I made it a hundred pages in, set it aside for four months, and two days ago picked it up and finished it. It's a pretty good read: there's a lot of detail about the Revolution. But in places the writing is muddied, the timeline gets tangled, and what exactly is being discussed is unclear at more than one moment. Because of that, I can't give it more than 3 stars. Pretty good, though, as I noted.
Brian Blondahl
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pretty interesting book. A bit slow due to the textbook style of writing but I drew many insights into the Russian Communist Revolution. I always just thought the revolutionaries were the Bolsheviks and tossed out the Czar and replaced it with Lenin's Bolshevik/Communist Party. In fact after the ousting of the Czar, a lot of back and forth went on between the differing factions desiring change , ranging from a freemarket capitalist Republic, The moderate socialists "Mensheviks" to the radical so ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Roy Baimon offers a unique perspective on the Bolshevik Revolution. Informed by interviews with people who were witness to the events in 1917, this book allows you to completely do away with the "first-world" view of the USSR and the Communist state. This is a very dense, powerful read but the insights it offers are priceless. I definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Russian history, WWI, socialist history, or world history in a broader sense. Enter with an open mind and yo ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
A nice, easy to read, easy to follow introduction to the Russian Revolution, focusing on 1917. The author does a great job of putting together the historical narrative with his own interviews of people who remember that time and were in their 90s when he interviewed them.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
We're back on the same level as the successful Middle East volume in this series. Another concise, useful, lightning-paced historical read, full of fascinating material.
Carl Mistlebauer
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
The author attempted to take a basic outline of the Russian Revolution and then inject it with insights from elderly didn't work.
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