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Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution 1914-1921 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0253333339
ISBN-10: 0253333334
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Drawing on the work of dozens of scholars from Russia, Europe, Japan, and the United States, this encyclopedic volume provides a useful overview of the early years of the Soviet Union. Among the topics covered are the collapse of the moderate Kerensky government and the rise of Bolshevik power, the sweeping militarization of Soviet society (the Red Army had 4,400,000 regulars in 1920), and the contribution of members of the Russian intelligentsia to the apparatus of the Soviet state. Students of Soviet history will find this compendium, which weighs in at nearly 800 pages, to be a valuable resource.

From Library Journal

The three editors of this massive volume?Acton (modern European history, Univ. of East Anglia, Norwich), Vladimir Iu. Cherniaev (Inst. of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg), and William G. Rosenburg (modern Russian and Soviet history, Univ. of Michigan)?have collected here 68 entries from 46 leading historians about the Russian Revolution. While all works on this topic appearing in the past five or six years (e.g., Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy, Viking, 1997, pap., and Richard Pipes, A Concise History of the Russian Revolution, LJ 10/1/95) claim to use newly opened Soviet archives, the difference, claimed by Acton, is that those authors were slaves of the old historical wave?reaction to Soviet invented history?resurrected in the early 1980s as the traditional Western view. This new volume breaks the mold of the anti-Soviet paradigm. Recommended for academic libraries.?Harry V. Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. System, Iola
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; 1st edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253333334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253333339
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,391,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This book is a necessary addition to the library of anyone who already knows a fair amount about the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War. It provides for the first time in one volume the advances in understanding that result from availability of Soviet archives and close cooperation between Western and Russian scholars. It also points out numerous topics on which further research would be useful.
However, it has its flaws. Some topics are covered redundantly in various essays, and not always the ones one would expect; other topics get inadequate attention. Makhno's anarchist army in Ukraine, for example, is barely mentioned in Mark von Hagen's essay on Ukraine, given an unsympathetic paragraph in Vladimir Chernaiv's essay on anarchists, and a longer and somewhat more useful paragraph in Orlando Figes' essay on peasant armies. Given that at times Makhno's army was the most effective military force in Eastern Ukraine, and that all other combatants in Ukraine had to worry about what Makhno was going to do next, this is fragmented and incomplete treatment of an important topic. As another example, the description of what happened in Latvia between 1917 and 1920 is seriously incomplete; the bitter division between pro-Bolshevik and Latvian nationalist elements is not brought out clearly, nor is the intensity of the war that took place in Latvia, with many Latvians, German troops (the von der Goltz Iron Division) and some Russians (the Bermondt-Avalov force) on one side, and the Latvian Bolsheviks and the Red Army on the other. One would not guess from this book how disastrous this was for Latvia; by the end of the fighting, about half the population of Latvia had fled the country or died.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a solid, definitive, wide-ranging and in-depth look at the Revolutions told from a variety of viewpoints, ideologies and mindsets. Modeled after the Foucoult/Ozuf Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, this is an excellently assembled book, with very current material, well worth having by any scholar of this period.
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