Competing Voices from the Russian Revolution

Fighting Words

by Edited by Michael C. Hickey


The Romanovs ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917, so it is no wonder that the overthrow of this long-lived dynasty and the events that followed evoked passionate debate. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was followed by the Russian Civil War, pitting "Red" against "White" and, ultimately, resulting in the establishment of the Soviet Union. How did people react? What did they think?

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Cover image for Competing Voices from the Russian Revolution

December 2010


Pages 599
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars
  • Award Winner!




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This new collection of documents helps students understand the complex texture of Russian public rhetoric and popular debate during World War I and the 1917 Revolution.

How better to understand history than through the words of those who lived it? Competing Voices from the Russian Revolution: Fighting Words presents documents that underscore the extraordinary richness of public discussion about key events and issues during the 1917 Russian Revolution, one of the pivotal events in modern history. Carefully edited and annotated, the documents help clarify the issues while revealing the broad range of ways in which Russians understood the events unfolding around them.

Focusing on public rhetoric and debate in Russia from the outbreak of World War I in 1914 through the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in January 1918, the documents present the views not only of key political figures, but also of ordinary men and women—mothers, soldiers, factory workers, peasants, students, businesspeople, and educated professionals.


  • More than 300 original documents from the national and local press and from unpublished provincial archival materials, all carefully edited and annotated and either translated into English for the first time or presented in new translations
  • A chronology of major events in Russia for the period from summer 1914 to mid-January 1918
  • Cartoons that appeared in the national and local press in 1917
  • A map of Russia in 1917 showing the locations of important cities and geographical features


  • Highlights themes that have emerged as important to recent historiography, such as the relationship between World War I and the 1917 Revolution, provincial revolutionary affairs, and the complexity of party politics
  • Illuminates the views of political leaders (Lenin, Trotsky, Kerensy), but also of ordinary people from all strata of Russian society and from across the vast Russian empire
  • Organizes documents chronologically and thematically to facilitate understanding of flash points of conflict—key issues and events that became the focus of heated public discussion and debate
Author Info

Michael C. Hickey, PhD, is professor of history at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in Bloomsburg, PA. Dr. Hickey has published extensively on the 1917 Revolution in provincial Russia and on Russo-Jewish rural communities in the late Imperial and early Soviet periods.



"This volume is an amazing collection of more than 200 primary source documents from the period of the Russian Revolution, all translated into English and placed in historical context. . . . Summing Up: Highly recommended."Choice

"Michael Hickey's new book is the most substantial attempt thus far to convey the rich range of views that existed during Russia's turbulent revolutionary period. It should be an essential part of any student module on the subject and many of the sources will force specialists to rethink their views on particular groups and episodes."Revolutionary Russia


Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011 — Choice

2012 Outstanding Reference Source — RUSA/ALA

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