The Russian Revolution, 1917–1945
by Anthony D'Agostino
December 2010, 171pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38622-0
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38623-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

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.

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.

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
Anthony D'Agostinois professor of history at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA. His published works include Soviet Succession Struggles: Kremlinology and the Russian Question from Lenin to Gorbachev and Gorbachev's Revolution. His articles and reviews have appeared in the American Historical Review, Journal of the Historical Society, Survey (London), Slavic Review, Russian Review, and Journal of Cold War Studies. He has contributed to H-DIPLO, History News Network, and Johnson's Russia List, and has been interviewed in more than 100 radio and television appearances.


"The study is well presented, with sufficient bibliography and index. For readers with general interest in the history of Russia. Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice, September 1, 2011
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