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The Russian Revolution

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  179 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
WW II's abrupt end brought us many gifts, none stranger than the papers of the German State. These were captured virtually complete, and to this day give up secrets. One that emerges from Alan Moorehead's research is the extent to which Germany was involved in the Russian Revolution. The ironic result of this clandestine maneuver was Germany's sure defeat on the Eastern fr ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published January 27th 1993 by Basic Books (first published 1958)
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Jenny
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-dad
Alan Moorehead is an excellent writer. That matters when I'm reading nonfiction. If the subject is interesting, but the writing is boring, I lose interest. The Russian Revolution has fascinated me for many years (well, any major revolutions, really), but Moorehead really brings the politics and the people to life. The beginning is very well done. He makes Lenin, Rasputin, the Empress into characters. He makes their actions and the consequences of their actions into plot points. The middle of the ...more
Shauna
Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I'm an avid fiction reader, but I tend to read non-fiction with the attitude that it's good for me, but not exactly enjoyable. This book is the absolute exception. It is well-researched and invaluable in helping to understand the background of the revolution and how that revolution sowed the seeds to what followed. It's also the only history book in which I have ever marked passages simply for the poetics of the writing.

"For the first few days many of the demonstrators did not know where they we
...more
Kay
Aug 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russia, nonfiction
The first Russian history book I read, no doubt prompted by an upcoming senior class trip taken to the (then) Soviet Union the winter of 1973.
Rick Wilmot
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The 100th anniversary of the RR prompted me to read this book. Lots there I didn't know about esp. the German files. I've read about Rasputin before and he has to rank as one of the most fascinating characters of the 20th Century.
On the actual Revolution I have always wondered how the Bolsheviks emerged as the strongest power and Moorehead's book still leaves me with that feeling.
One of the last few paragraphs in the book quotes Churchill on Lenin, "He alone could have found the way back to the
...more
Col
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book. It was just what I needed with just the right amount of depth to give me a good insight into the RR and the characters in it. I now feel I have the requisite knowledge to move onto some more in-depth books on the subject.
The most credible thing about the book was that it was only written 45 years after the revolution so a lot of primary references would still have available then.
Mai Alsharif مي الشريف
الكتاب ليس ممتع و لا انصح فيه
Staren
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alan Moorehead was a pretty famous (in the West) war correspondent, but, although he is most known for his books about various World War II campaigns, I was interested, of course, in The Russian Revolution. 2017 looks strikingly similar to 1917 and reminds about that revolution every day, so it was a good opportunity to refresh my knowledge about it and learn how a Western journalist perceives the events about which our only ideas until recently formed by the official Soviet propaganda.

It turned
...more
Gary Sudeth
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Having read Moorehead's story of the Russian Revolution in 1959 at twelve years old, followed by Kennan's and Edward Crankshaw's late '50's and early '60's looks into the unreported nature of our cold war foe, I have since skeptically monitored the messages of Lenin's unfavored heir, Joseph Stalin's invoking of the second revolution Lenin abandoned at the end of WWI, via the Soviet infiltration, beginning in the mid-20's, of numerous American institutions, including labor, the press, and nationa ...more
Nathan
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I don't think I could have asked for a better book to explain the history of the Russian Revolution. Moorehead not only takes you through what happened in great detail, but gives you a fair deal of background, giving you an idea of the general attitude the Russian people had to each event that took place. He also takes the time to highlight certain characters who were crucial to the movement's evolution, which I found quite interesting. Besides the obvious names, such as Tsar Nicholas II, Trotsk ...more
Kate
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A good, well written overview of the Russian revolution, from the view of a pretty objective American historian. Easy to read and flow through, it covers from the beginnings of the regime of Nicholas, including Rasputin and other characters and the gradual growth of the revolutionary movements that toppled the regime. It ends with the play-out of the Leninist Bolsheviks taking power and making the first Soviet. From a 1950's perspective (book was published in '56), where Stalin was still in the ...more
Ruth
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you haven't read any Alan Moorehead, I should really take the time to type out some quotes. He is funny, clever, surprising, well-organized, everything you could want in a writer. I had a little more trouble with this book than his others because of the Russian names, but I finally just had to go with the flow and hope I was getting the important character distinctions.
The main thing I learned from this book was what an egomaniacal jerk Lenin was. Somehow that had never sunk in. I learned ma
...more
John
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Good basic information on the Russian Revolution. Covers the years between the late 1880's to about 1919.
I had not realized that the Russian Revolution was not originally a communist or socialist revolution. The people were rebelling against Czar Nicholas, the war, lack of food and fuel. The Bolsheviks had little to do with inciting the turmoil; most of the big names were out of the country at the time (Lenin, for example). However the Bolsheviks were very adroit at turning the situation to the
...more
sologdin
henry luce's preferred version of the narrative of the revolution, published during the cold war, alleging that lenin was a german agent. FFS.

author is a journalist, known primarily for his writings about the second world war. this text is based on Trotsky's narrative mostly, which is kind of an odd way to write an anti-bolshevist piece--i.e., by plagiarizing a bolshevist. I suppose the bolshevist won't file an intellectual property claim, though I suspect that mr. luce should take property righ
...more
Alex
Jun 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
pretty mainstream-liberal indictment of lenin, biased but probably fairly accurate historical account.
Ethan
Feb 03, 2009 added it
Amazing book on an amazing tragedy. If you dont like in depth history at its best then dont read it.
Deborah
May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I found this to be a balanced discussion o the events. The german involvement in bringing about the revolution was something I had not come across in previous studies.
Neal
May 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book is pretty far from objective, I think the description of Lenin coming back on a train from Sweden described him as returning like a "virus" but despite that it was still pretty engaging.
Carl Mistlebauer
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It gives a good overview of the Russian Revolution.
Richard
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Aug 18, 2008
Martha
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Apr 13, 2008
Anthony
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Aug 06, 2014
Josef Miyasato
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Doug
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Nov 30, 2007
Michelle Cunningham
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Mar 14, 2010
DoctorM
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Aug 08, 2007
Ian
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Apr 23, 2008
Shaunessy
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Feb 25, 2012
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Alan Moorehead was lionised as the literary man of action: the most celebrated war correspondent of World War II; author of award winning books; star travel writer of The New Yorker; pioneer publicist of wildlife conservation. At the height of his success, his writing suddenly stopped and when, 17 years later, his death was announced, he seemed a heroic figure from the past. His fame as a writer g ...more
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