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The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

S. A. Smith

Publication Date - May 2002

ISBN: 9780192853950

192 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $11.95


This concise, accessible introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole--on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another. The book registers the primacy of politics, but situates political developments firmly in the context of massive economic, social, and cultural change. Since the fall of Communism there has been much reflection on the significance of the Russian Revolution. The book rejects the currently influential, liberal interpretation of the revolution in favor of one that sees it as rooted in the contradictions of a backward society which sought modernization and enlightenment and ended in political tyranny.


  • Introduction to the Russian Revolution written after the fall of Communism
  • New sources and archives made available since the fall of Communism are used as sources in Smith's introduction making most up-to date introduction available
  • Concise, accessible, and illustrated introduction to key moment in Soviet history
  • Treats all aspects and effects of the revolution, from political to social and economic developments
  • Controversial new perspectives, indicating the Bolsheviks had real choices and their decisions helped bring about Stalinism.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Smith is Professor of History at the University of Essex. He works on the social history of the Russian and Chinese revoltuions and is author of Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 1983), and A Road is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-27 (Curzon Press, 2000).

Table of Contents

    1. The February Revolution and Provisional Government
    2. Social Polarization and the Crisis of Power
    3. Politics in the Civil War
    4. Society and Economy in the Civil War
    5. NEP Economy and Politics
    6. NEP Culture and Society