This book offers a fresh analysis of the Russian Revolution from a global perspective. It stresses the historical role of Soviet Communism in the modernization of the country, the defeat of Nazism, and the rise of American power and world leadership.
Despite the demise of Communism and the recognized horrors of the Stalin regime, many Russians are no longer embarrassed by the memory of the Stalin years. Instead, they find him representative of Russian greatness and an inspiration in their attempt to overcome what Putin has called "the greatest geopolitical disaster in history"—the partition of the Soviet Union.
For students and scholars of the Russian Revolution, there are pivotal questions that merit careful, comprehensive consideration: why did the Tsarist regime unravel in revolution? Why did the Bolsheviks come to power rather than some other party? How did Stalin—rather than a more popular and respected leader—win the mantle of Lenin and gain leadership of the ruling party? How should Stalin's regime be judged by subsequent generations of Russians, and in the context of world history?
In Russian Revolution, 1917-1945, author Anthony D'Agostino discusses all these questions. His suggestions for further reading range over decades of writing on Soviet subjects and cite classics, revisionist works, curiosities, and studies done during and since the Gorbachev years. The book explores topics including the modernization of the Tsarist Russian state, World War I, the revolutionary project of Soviet Communism, the nationalist transformation of Soviet Communism under international pressures, the "Big Drive" to modernize Russia by force, and the external threat of fascism.
• Suggestions for further reading that span decades of writing on the subject
• An index of names and major ideas
• Provides a review of five decades of interpretations of the Revolution
• Examines the Russian Revolution from the standpoint of Russian nationalism, and vice versa
• Accurately portrays Lenin's role in 1917 and debunks the myth of Stalin's “Socialism in One Country” and Trotsky's “Permanent Revolution”