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Old August 2nd, 2017, 02:35 AM   #1
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The Russian Revolution - Sean McMeekin


I just finished reading it and found very inforamative and fluent , simple to read. Not too much detail and characters to track. After introducing Tsarist Russia in the beginning of 20th Century and WWI , McMeekin argues that Bolshevik takeover and creation of Soviet Union between 1917-1924 was not inevitable , there were many things that could go otherwise , missed chances for opposition , luck factor that could prevent Lenin's movement getting absolute power etc. Bolshevik movement in 1917 was small cadre of intellectuals led by Lenin WHO was motivated and dedicated about what he wanted and Bolshevik take over of February revolution then actions of turning Russia into a centralised communist state along with ruining economy , messing up agriculture and causing massive starvation on countryside , abolishing private property etc were all acts of a few elite cadres of Bolshevik movement WHO took all the power in their hands at Russia by force then used it according to their idelogical theory. It was not a geninue people's movement from socity and common people he summarises.

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Old August 11th, 2017, 10:23 AM   #2

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I just finished reading it and found very inforamative and fluent , simple to read. Not too much detail and characters to track. After introducing Tsarist Russia in the beginning of 20th Century and WWI , McMeekin argues that Bolshevik takeover and creation of Soviet Union between 1917-1924 was not inevitable , there were many things that could go otherwise , missed chances for opposition , luck factor that could prevent Lenin's movement getting absolute power etc. Bolshevik movement in 1917 was small cadre of intellectuals led by Lenin WHO was motivated and dedicated about what he wanted and Bolshevik take over of February revolution then actions of turning Russia into a centralised communist state along with ruining economy , messing up agriculture and causing massive starvation on countryside , abolishing private property etc were all acts of a few elite cadres of Bolshevik movement WHO took all the power in their hands at Russia by force then used it according to their idelogical theory. It was not a geninue people's movement from socity and common people he summarises.
My spouse and I just finished reading Richard Pipes' The Russian Revolution 1899-1919 and after the Bolsheviks entered the picture, my spouse kept asking "Why didn't someone just shoot Lenin?" The Bolshevik resolution was very tenuous: many different factions had many different chances to stop the Bolsheviks, but no one did. What a pity!

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Old August 11th, 2017, 10:33 AM   #3
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My spouse and I just finished reading Richard Pipes' The Russian Revolution 1899-1919 and after the Bolsheviks entered the picture, my spouse kept asking "Why didn't someone just shoot Lenin?" The Bolshevik resolution was very tenuous: many different factions had many different chances to stop it, but no one did. Pity.
^^ A constant historical conundrum there. There were powerful influences who could have done in Herr Hitler, but none of them did. The army despised his lower class, Bohemian, Austrian origin. (He had not even been in the German army. He was in the Bavarian army. )
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Old August 11th, 2017, 10:47 AM   #4

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^^ A constant historical conundrum there. There were powerful influences who could have done in Herr Hitler, but none of them did. The army despised his lower class, Bohemian, Austrian origin. (He had not even been in the German army. He was in the Bavarian army. )
Somewhat off thread, but no Lenin, no Hitler? Based on Pipes, I think that the Bolsheviks could not have succeeded without Lenin. And without Lenin, would Hitler have had the perceived enemy to play off of that brought him to power?

BTW, I did feel that Pipes was perhaps too anti-Lenin. I recently bought but have not yet read Sheila Fitzpatrick's The Russian Revolution, which I understand to be influenced by the Annales School of "history from below."

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Old August 11th, 2017, 11:11 AM   #5

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My spouse and I just finished reading Richard Pipes' The Russian Revolution 1899-1919 and after the Bolsheviks entered the picture, my spouse kept asking "Why didn't someone just shoot Lenin?" The Bolshevik resolution was very tenuous: many different factions had many different chances to stop the Bolsheviks, but no one did. What a pity!

You really think Lenin played such a big role? Now I have some doubts. Actually he was shot at and didn't have an active life after that, died quickly. Was he so crucial?
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Old August 11th, 2017, 12:37 PM   #6

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You really think Lenin played such a big role? Now I have some doubts. Actually he was shot at and didn't have an active life after that, died quickly. Was he so crucial?
Lenin was shot in August 1918, after the Bolsheviks had taken power, and lived until 1924. Vladimir Lenin shot - Aug 30, 1918 - HISTORY.com

Had the Left SRs (or anyone else) assassinated him--or even arrested him and the rest of the Bolshis--shortly after Lenin's arrival in Russia in April 1917 or anytime up to about the end of October 1917, I don't think the Bolshevik Revolution would have succeeded.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 10:32 PM   #7

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Lenin was shot in August 1918, after the Bolsheviks had taken power, and lived until 1924.
Yes, but last couple of years he was practically a vegetable.

See the difference? As he was presented and as he was in reality

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Old August 12th, 2017, 12:45 AM   #8
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He also had a stroke a few months before his death that detoriented his health to breaking point..Anyway as for the book what I learned most is how many things could go wrong for Bolshevik movement towards its path to absolute power but did not due either dumb luck , disorganisation and bad decisions of their opposition and leaders of movement like Lenin , Trotsky , Kamanev etc were well motivated and dedicated to know what they wanted and how to get it. First they were funded by Germans in the middle of war at Petrograd for immediate peace , disbanding the army and all Tsarist state institurions and made a huge propaganda effort for it (treason to Russian war effort) , it is remarkable that no one questioned their source of money till its too late. Both Tsarist statesmen and then Provisionsl goverment made a mess of things and Bolsheviks just exploited their mistakes in measuring public mood (especially in army where frontline soldiers mostly peasants were eager for immediate land reform)
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Old August 14th, 2017, 07:09 AM   #9
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Somewhat off thread, but no Lenin, no Hitler? Based on Pipes, I think that the Bolsheviks could not have succeeded without Lenin. And without Lenin, would Hitler have had the perceived enemy to play off of that brought him to power?

BTW, I did feel that Pipes was perhaps too anti-Lenin. I recently bought but have not yet read Sheila Fitzpatrick's The Russian Revolution, which I understand to be influenced by the Annales School of "history from below."

I recommend Orlando Figes' recent book, https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Peo...le%27s+tragedy

i wouldn't say he was too biased either way
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Old August 22nd, 2017, 08:19 AM   #10

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I recommend Orlando Figes' recent book, https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Peo...le%27s+tragedy

i wouldn't say he was too biased either way
Thanks Arminius. I may try that one if Fitzpatrick doesn't tell me what I want to know.
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