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'Vivid and readable ... A valuable perspective on a world-shaking event'
– Karen Shook, Times Higher Education
'This is a vital contribution to the debate over the legacy of the Revolution'
– John Newsinger, author of The Blood Never Dried
The Russian Revolution may well be the most misunderstood event in modern history. In this fast-paced introduction, Neil Faulkner debunks the myths that continue to shroud it, showing how a mass movement of millions, organised in democratic assemblies, mobilised for militant action and destroyed a regime of landlords, profiteers and warmongers.
Faulkner rejects caricatures of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as authoritarian conspirators, 'democratic-centralists' or the progenitors of Stalinist dictatorship; though short-lived, the Revolution of October 1917 was an explosion of democracy and creativity. Crushed by bloody counter-revolution, its socialist vision was ultimately displaced by a monstrous form of bureaucratic state-capitalism.
Laced with first-hand testimony, this history rescues the democratic essence of the revolution from its detractors and deniers, offering a perfect primer for the modern reader.
Neil Faulkner (1958-2022) was a historian and archaeologist. His books include A Radical History of the World (2018) which is also available from the Left Book Club.